Bird flu spreads in more areas of Haryana

| | Chandigarh
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Bird flu spreads in more areas of Haryana

Thursday, 14 January 2021 | MANOJ KUMAR | Chandigarh

The increasing number of deaths of crows, pigeons, egrets and other birds being reported on a daily basis at Najafgarh wetlands, Basai wetlands, Sultanpur wetlands in Gurugram is triggering panic over the possibility of  bird flu outbreak. The wildlife officials have been asked to dispose of dead birds immediately after death as a part of precautionary measures, said Sultanpur National park (wildlife) Inspector Rajesh Chahal.

Talking to ‘The Pioneer’ over the phone, Chahal said that samples of dead birds were collected and sent for examination to the laboratory at Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Jalandhar. Some samples of dead crows sent at RDDL Jalandhar have been suspected of bird flu. The second confirmatory report was sent to a laboratory in Bhopal’s National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research. Reports are awaited. However, no death of migratory birds has been reported so far but a caution has been sounded and the health department is on alert, he said, adding that teams of the Wildlife Department are keeping round-the-clock vigil. 

He further said that a meeting has been called on this issue on Thursday and officials of Municipal Corporation, Animal Husbandry and Dairying and district administration will attend.

Chahal further said that a bird-flu outbreak has been confirmed in Delhi with test results showing that birds died of the flu.

The officials of the Forest and wildlife department have been receiving reports of deaths of birds in the area on a daily basis over the last one week and so.

Team members have recovered two or three dead birds at different places in Gurugram triggering a bird flu scare and samples were already sent for testing to a wildlife lab in Punjab.

Earlier, dozens of crows and egrets were found dead in Tau Devi Lal Biodiversity and Botanical Park, Sector 52 and nearby areas. The dead birds have been buried with all precautions and people have been urged to remain vigilant about such incidents. Officials have also asked to remain alert and ensure a constant vigil near places such as water bodies, zoos and poultry farms, he added.

Another official said that neighbouring State Delhi have recently reported avian deaths due to the disease.

Increasing number of deaths of birds in Gurugram areas triggered panic among the locals as they feared the possibility of the bird flu outbreak in the area.

When contacted Haryana Chief Conservator of Forests (wildlife) ML Rajvanshi said that deaths of some birds have been reported in Rohtak and Hisar recently and reports of dead crows were sent to lab in Jalandhar to confirm whether bird flu has spread to Rohtak, Hisar as well.

 However, reports received negative in Narwana, Rohtak and Hisar on Wednesday. Teams have been told to report back if fresh bird carcasses are found.

He further said that no casualty has been reported so far in the wetlands of Sultanpur Lake and Bhindawas where thousands of migratory birds have arrived for their annual sojourn.

The Wildlife officer further said, “We are on the alert. Our teams have been keeping a watch 24x7 on a rotational basis. A group of individuals who provide extra information about the birds or aquatic species and habitat, and local riparian residents had been roped in to keep an eye on any abnormal behaviour of water fowls.

The officials have been asked to create awareness that any sighting of a dead bird by volunteers, bird watchers and others should be reported to the nearest forest/animal husbandry office.”

Rajvanshi further said, “We so far have no confirmed instance of flu and people should abstain from undue panic.

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