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Tuesday, 27 March, 2001, 15:06 GMT 16:06 UK
Foot and mouth threatens Indian rhinos

There has been an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the northeastern Indian state of Assam, threatening several species including the world's largest concentration of one-horned rhinos.

The director of the Kaziranga National Park, DN Singh, said the presence of 5,000 domestic cattle close to the wildlife sanctuary posed great danger to the rhinos.

A spokesman for the state's foot and mouth disease project said that a research team had treated affected animals at several places near the state capital, Guwahati.

Conservationists are organising vaccination camps to create an immune belt around the state's wildlife reserves.

Meanwhile the authorities in Rajasthan have launched a vaccination programme for cattle after one hundred beasts contracted the disease.

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