Probe reveals buffaloes drowned

James Kon

The mysterious deaths of 36 buffaloes in Kampong Katimahar in the Brunei-Muara District prompted an investigation by the Agriculture and Agrifood Department under the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT).

The buffaloes were found dead inside a pond owned by Kampong Katimahar Village Consultative Council members.

Results from the investigation by the department’s Livestock Industry and Veterinary Services Division suggest that the animals may have drowned in the seven-foot deep pond which provides irrigation to surrounding farms.

“Recent heavy rains probably caused water levels in the pond to rise, and the buffaloes were trapped and drowned because of its steep sides,” said the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood in a statement yesterday.

On Tuesday, the department organised a burial for the carcasses in a nearby area, with the help of villagers.

Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Haji Apong, and Acting Village Head of Kampong Katimahar Haji Bujang bin Haji Abdul Ghani observed the procedure, which adhered to specific measures and guidelines to prevent possible infection.

Acting Director of Agriculture and Agrifood, officers and staff from the department were also present.

The matter has been reported to the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) for investigations. The public is warned not to spread false or unverified information regarding the incident.

Farmers are advised to put up high fences, keep their livestock from straying into ponds and other bodies of water.

Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Haji Apong with Acting Village Head of Kampong Katimahar Haji Bujang bin Haji Abdul Ghani overseeing the operation burying the carcasses: PHOTOS: AGRICULTURE AND AGRIFOOD DEPARTMENT
Agriculture and Agrifood Department officials at the site investigate the incident