Over 567,000 head of livestock killed in Mongolia due to harsh weather

A total of 567,600 head of livestock have died in Mongolia so far this year due to the extreme wintry weather known as “dzud,” the country’s National Statistics Office (NSO) said Friday.

The number of dead animals is up nearly 10 percent compared to the same period last year, and around 85 percent of the dead animals are goats and sheep, the statistical agency said in a statement.

The dzud is a Mongolian term to describe a severely cold winter when a large number of livestock die because the ground is frozen or covered by snow.

Snowfall covered up to around 70 percent of the country, with more than 60 administrative subdivisions in half of all 21 provinces of the country experiencing dzud or near dzud conditions, the National Agency for Meteorology and Environmental Monitoring said in a statement in late February.

Among the provinces, Khentii and Sukhbaatar in the east, Arkhangai in the central west, as well as Khovd and Uvs in the west registered the highest rates of animal death.

Mongolia, one of the last nomadic countries in the world, had 71.1 million livestock animals at the end of 2022, according to the NSO. The promotion of livestock husbandry is seen as the most viable way to diversify the landlocked country’s mining-dependent economy. ■

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