(English) Study finds that livestock deaths may be due to poisoning, not uranium

Translated by Mergenii Undram

UranLast year there was much concern among Mongolian people about the massive deaths of livestock in Dornogovi Province, and it was suspected that the deaths were caused by uranium and radiation. But an investigation conducted by specialists has revealed that the deaths of the livestock were not associated with radiation, but are instead believed to be related to poisoning by substances such as copper and selenium.

Ulaanbadrax sumiin irgedResidents in Dornogovi Province claimed last year that following the start of uranium mining activities on their land, 22 livestock died mysteriously. The Prime Minister of Mongolia formed a working group, which included a number of scientists, to verify the complaints made by the herders.

N. Altankhuyag, Prime Minister of Mongolia says “Our best scientists and laboratories conducted the investigation and they revealed that uranium was not the cause of the deaths of the livestock. A measurement taken on the herders’ land found the level of radiation to be within acceptable limits. But the scientists warned that the deaths might have been caused by selenium and copper poisoning”

According to studies, Mongolia is rich in uranium and is ranked among the top 10 uranium-rich countries in the world. The Prime Minister said that the issue will be addressed by international organizations to ensure full clarification. Selenium, one of the chemicals that might have poisoned the livestock, is a by-product of the refining of copper ore. A copper ore concentrator plant was constructed last year in Omnogovi Province, which is west of Dornogovi.

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