Livestock and Landmines

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Last Update Jan. 19, 2001

Bibliography and Notes on Documentation

Domestic animals provide labor, food, wool and other products that are important to rural economies. The loss of an animal also means the loss of her future offspring. This can be a devistating to a farmer's family.

The few studies that take livestock losses into account suggest that large numbers of animals are lost, but there is no reliable estimate on the world-wide economic impact of these losses.


- A study on the social impact of landmines in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Cambodia, and Mozambique reports livestock losses of 54 554 animals.

"In Afghanistan the bulk of the loss was suffered by the Kuchi (nomads), who reported losses of nearly 35,000 animals; this is an average of 24.4 animals per household, or $2,933 at local market prices." (Andersson, etal., 1995)

- A study by the VVAF found that:
48 823 sheep, 14 985 goats, 6297 cows, 576 horses, 3615 donkeys, and 1267 camels were lost to landmines for a total of 75 563 animals.

- The report also cites a study by the Mine Clearance Planning Agency. The survey of 949 villages documented 264 136 sheep and goats, 55 369 cows and oxen, 36 276 horses and donkeys, and 5354 camels killed by landmines since the begining of the war. (Roberts and Williams, 1995 p.49)

- An article written by Demilitarization for Deomocracy states

"In Afghanistan, more than 50 percent of the livestock have been killed by land mines and bombs. A survey of 949 villages showed animal death because of land- mines resulted in a loss worth $60 million dollars." (Adamson and Rossiter, 1995)

- A WSPA Disaster Aid Program in Afghanistan found

"All the shepards were familiar with livestock stepping on mines and while some animals were killed by the blast, others recieved shrapnel wounds." (WSPA)


- - "Humans are not the only victims of land mines. Dr. Foster said he has personally seen a herd of cows blown up while crossing a road, and then parts of the cows raining down. They probably saved his life. He also knows of elephants and other wildlife being maimed and destroyed in this way."


- See Afghanistan


- Jesuit Refugee Service reported livestock deaths in Burma. (Large file)


- A survey of 6090 households in Cambodia, reports the loss of 1284 cows, 139 pigs, 190 oxen, 315 buffalo, and 32 other types of animals for a total of 1960 animals. (Roberts and Williams, 1995 p.127)

- Also see Afghanistan


- "Three young boys herding sheep and cattle on the slopes of Mt. Lalamba, on Keren's outskirts, were recently severely wounded when an animal stepped on a land mine." (D.C., 1992)

- Also a report on the social costs of landmines in Eritrea states that the number of livestock being lost is declining, but no statistics exist.


- "In Ethiopia, a large number of mines are located in desert pastures. Casualties are estimated to be "routine" among people and livestock."



- The International Committee of the Red Cross reports livestock losses in Hondurus and Nicaragua.
Anti-personnel mines in Central America
(Dead URL:


Somini Sengupia Report:
"Stray cattle and dogs have been killed in several places along the border." (Sengupia, 2002)






- "In Kuwait alone, the mines have killed more than 1,700 civilians - and thousands of sheep, goats, and camels - since the end of the Gulf War." (Webster, 1999 p. 222)



- From Bomb Today, Kill Tomorrow:

"The Israelis used US [cluster bombs] in large numbers during their first invasion of Lebanon in a rather indiscriminate way. They were scattered by dispensers and lay in fields, bushes and undergrowth. It took UN bomb-disposal teams a considerable time to find and destroy them. They looked like tennis balls and children tended to pick them up, suffering ugly injuries when the bombs went off in their faces. Farmers ploughing and animals also suffered badly."

- Reuters reports:

"The source said Kamel Abdelal, 50, was killed near the village of Sohmor when a landmine went off. Fifteen goats were killed in the explosion."


- In Libya, between 1940 and 1980, an average of 3125 animals were lost a year to unexploded ordinances left over from World War II
The estimated losses are: 75,000 camels, 36,250 sheep, 12,500 goats and 1,250 cattle.


Cattle have been killed near the Kosovo border. (McGrory, 1999)

Olivia Ward reports:

"A group of farmers pointed up a steep mountain slope to a clearing where the corpse of a cow lay, its legs blown off by a mine. ... Villagers have stayed out of the fields since the cow was killed. And they weren't reassured when an army sniper, hearing the dying animal bellowing in pain, shot it." (Ward, 1999)

Malvinas\Falkland Islands Malvinas\Falkland Islands ,



- A survey in Mozambique reports the loss of 126 cows, 197 pigs, and 255 goats; a total of 578 animals. (Roberts and Williams, 1995 p.512)

- Also see Afghanistan



American Red Cross reports

The Miskito Indians also lose livestock to mines. The animals, on which the indians rely for food and trade, step on the explosives while grazing. To keep the animals safe, residents encourage them to stay close to their homes, where the mines have been cleared. But this results in livestock waste surrounding their houses, creating unsanitary conditions where their children play.

- Also see Honduras

Persian Gulf

- The article The Animal Victims of the Gulf War from PSN Quarterly reports:

"Death also resulted when animals stepped on unexploded mines or cluster bombs, which littered the landscape at the end of the war. (Clearing some areas of unexploded ordnance has been deemed virtually impossible by military officials, and these areas may have to be fenced off to prevent future deaths among nomadic residents and their herds.)"


- Valrey Shtrykov reports:

"But more often, it is farm animals who die in the blasts. Last year, near Rossoshka, five hogs were blown up at one time. Dozens of cattle die each year too." (Webster, 1996 p. 107)


Geogre B. Schaller reports:
"Land mines and booby traps planted by defeated Hutu forces have maimed farmers and killed cattle in Volcanoes National Park." (Schaller, 1995)


- Landmines have killed or wounded about 70,000 people and one million head of livestock in the past 15 years of civil war in Sudan


- The Christian Science Monitor reports livestock deaths in Somalia. (Press, 1993)

- From Xinhua wireservice:

"The Governor of Galgudud region, Yussuf Hassan Eyow, said that along with the human casualties, dozens of the livestock especially the camels get perished in those land mines."

Sri Lanka

In Yala National Park:

"Mahinda said that some cows from the villages wandering into the jungles have also lost legs in landmine explosions. Villagers believe that the mines were laid by the LTTE cadre when fleeing after an attack."

South Kurdistan

From a report on South Kurdistan:

"Farmer Salih Abdullah said his horse stepped on a mine, sending fragments, dirt and rocks tearing through his face and upper body. The animal was killed on the spot, but doctorsremain hopeful they can save Abdullah's eyesight."


Mercedes Sayagues reports:

"...every village near Chiredzi has lost at least one animal to landmines, and each animal is a peasant's life savings in this region."

- In an article on the military use and effectiveness of anti-personnel mines The International Committee of The Red Cross reports that in Zimbabwe,

- "Some nine thousand cattle and an unknown number of other livestock, which often represent the life's savings of a peasant farmer, have also perished during the same period [1980-1994]."

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