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Bird flu confirmed in Gujarat, the Kharo dam birds had died due to avian flu, say officers

BIRD FLU has been confirmed in Gujarat as samples of some of the 55 birds which had been discovered lifeless at Kharo dam in Junagadh early this month examined constructive for a pressure of the avian flu, state authorities officers confirmed on Saturday morning and added that illness surveillance was intensified.

Animal husbandry division and forest division had turn into alert on January 2 when 53 birds had been discovered lifeless on the shore of Kharo dam in Bantva village of Manavadar taluka of Junagadh district. They included 46 red-wattled lapwings, three ruffs, three northern shovelers, and one comb duck. Ruffs and northern shovelers are migratory species. Two extra red-wattled lapwings had died on January 4 and samples of those birds had been despatched to National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh for chicken flu testing. “Seventeen samples from those birds were sent to NISHAD, Bhopal and yesterday they were found positive. The confirmation report reached to Delhi and my office yesterday,” Dr Falguni Thakar, director of animal husbandry (AH) of Gujarat instructed The Indian Express.

This is the first reported outbreak of the avian flu in Gujarat since 2017 when the illness was confirmed in some elements of Ahmedabad.

Officers of state animal husbandry division in Junagadh had despatched carcasses of he the two red-wattled lapwings which died on January 4 to NIHSAD. “Tests one of those two lapwing carcasses have also tested positive for bird flu,” Dr SN Vaghasiya, deputy director of AH in Junagadh stated on Saturday.

Dr Pathak stated that moreover Junagadh, mass mortality of scheduled birds, particularly of crows, have been reported from Vadodara, Valsad, Vyara in Tapi district and Motera close to Ahmedabad district. “Samples of these birds have also been sent to Bhopal for testing and results are awaited. But the good part is that the birds which have died so far are crows, which are dead end for the flu as chances of it spreading from crows to other birds are minimal and that poultry birds seem to be unaffected so far. Nonetheless, we are continuing with intensive surveillance in the state. We have asked our officers in districts to keep surveilling poultry birds, take their samples and keep them testing,” she stated.

Dr Vaghasiya stated that no additional deaths of birds have been reported since January 4. Dushyant Vasavada, chief conservator of forests of Junagadh wildlife circle which covers Junagadh, Gir Somnath, Porbandar, Amreli and Bhavnagar districts additionally stated that no mass mortality was reported from wetlands in protected areas.

Meanwhile on the orders of the director of AH, zoos in the state shut their aviaries indefinitely from Saturday onward. An official launch from the Rajkot Municipal Corporation on Friday stated that the aviary in its Rajkot Zoological Park, popularly generally known as the Pradyuman Park will stay closed to guests from Saturday onward however different sections of the park will stay open.

“We have issued that order as a precautionary measure to prevent the bird flu jumping to humans. In India, there hasn’t been reports of the bird flu jumping to humans but such cases have been reported from Hong Kong. Additionally, Kerala and Haryana are the only states of India so far where bird flu has been detected in poultry birds also,” the director of AH stated.

As a precautionary measure, Shyamal Tikadar, principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF) and chief wildlife warden of Gujarat had issued an order to hold chicken sanctuaries of Nal Sarovar in Ahmedabad, Khijaydiya in Jamnagar and Porbandar in Porbandar district closed however withdrew that order afterward. “We had issued the orders to keep these sanctuaries closed as a precautionary measure in view of the bird flu outbreak. However, we have withdrawn this order after instructions from the government. The government is of the view that panic should not be created. Therefore, these sanctuaries are open to visitors,” stated Tikadar.



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