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Persistent snowfall hammers animal husbandry in NW China


08:53, March 12, 2012

XINING, March 11 (Xinhua) -- Persistent snowfall since January has greatly affected people and livestock in northwest China's Qinghai province, local authorities said Sunday.

Since January, more than 80,000 people have been affected and 116,000 heads of livestock have died due to heavy snowstorms in the pastures of southern Qinghai, according to statistics from the government of Tibetan autonomous prefecture of Huangnan.

Southern Qinghai's pastureland, located over 4,000 meters above sea-level on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, is one of the most important grazing areas in China.

Animal husbandry is the pillar industry of the inland prefecture.

"My family has 24 yaks and 40 sheep, but 8 yaks and 20 sheep died in the snowstorms. If it continues to snow, the number will increase," said Rabten, a shepherd in Zekog county.

"The lack of fodder is the most difficult thing," said Tseten Gya, a party secretary of Duohemao village of Zekog county.

As of Feb. 16, 3,450 heads of livestock have died, and 566 of 586 affected families in the village are facing fodder shortages.

In the neighboring Mongolian autonomous county of Henan, Amuhu village is blanketed by 10 centimeters of snow. More than 1,000 heads of livestock have died in the past three months.

"The provincial agriculture and animal husbandry department delivered 13,600 tonnes of fodder to herdsmen in winter, but 7,000 tonnes are still needed," said Tang Guosheng, an official with the Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Department of Qinghai province.


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