UNIFIL Indian vets treat livestock caught in exchanges of fire

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7 Mar 2024

UNIFIL Indian vets treat livestock caught in exchanges of fire

The ongoing exchanges of fire between Lebanese territory and Israel have claimed too many lives, inflicted life-changing injuries, and caused significant damage to houses and public infrastructure along the Blue Line. 

The economy has also suffered enormously, causing hardship to many residents of south Lebanon for whom agriculture has long been a critical source of livelihood. The ongoing violence has taken a heavy toll on the cows and sheep roaming the green pastures along the Blue Line, animals that are a vital source of food and income for local people. 

Of late, following requests from local communities, UNIFIL veterinarians from India have recently treated several of animals caught in the middle of the exchanges of fire. 

On 18 February, the Indian peacekeepers provided veterinary aid to a flock of sheep injured in a gunfire in Wazzani. Two days later, they provided lifesaving assistance to cows injured in the same area. 

Indian Contingent Commander Col. Bhupinder Gussain said this “lifesaving” support was an important contribution to the livelihoods of the local communities during difficult times.

“We believe, helping the locals and ensuring [that] they receive veterinary support for their severely injured flock was our moral responsibility,” said Col. Gussain. 

The UNIFIL Indian contingent has long been providing veterinary assistance to local communities in its area of responsibility, spanning across 100 square kilometres in south-eastern Lebanon. On 29 February, it also organized a mobile vet clinic in the village of El Hibberiye, treating 60 livestock.

The Mayor of Wazzani, Ahmed al Mohammed, said, “I’m very grateful for the immediate response of veterinary team of the Indian Battalion for the livestock which suffered severe injuries, thereby assisting the livelihood of the people of the village.”