BENGALURU: Karnataka veterinary authorities say that no cases of bird flu mortality in wild species have been reported or found in the state. In fact, the monthly samples collected from each district did not reveal the presence of this deadly disease either.
Conservationists recently expressed serious concern as hundreds of avians around Virajpet taluk in Kodagu district had disappeared. They said that this might be due to the spread of bird flu in the smaller bird species.
Dr S M Byregowda, Director, Institute of Animal Health and Veterinary Biologicals, told Express that there have been no reports of bird flu in wild species. No avian influenza mortality has been seen either in local or migratory species. However, he added, “We will investigate the matter and be more vigilant and send for more samples. Every month, samples are being collected from each district and not a single case has been seen in the wild species.”
Reporting the disappearance of hundreds of local species such as Munia, tailor bird, spotted dove, parakeets and myna, M K Chinnappa, conservationist and president, Wildlife First, said, “In the last four to five months, not a single bird has been seen in agricultural fields around Virajpet taluk. Even their normal activities like building nests have come to a standstill. These wild birds were a normal sight during July-November but now they have simply vanished. Authorities need to investigate as it may be due to bird flu.”
However, Dr C Nagaraj, Deputy Director, State Animal Husbandry Department, Kodagu district, said, “No deaths of wild or domestic birds have been reported from the entire district. He added, “We have three check-posts and strict vigilance with 24 hour checking. We have deployed a group of three veterinary officials at these posts who maintain strict compliance of the central guidelines for bird flu. It is such a deadly disease that its occurrence would be highly visible as it kills the birds immediately. The samples collected from fields and water bodies have not shown the presence of avian influenza at all.”
The reasons for the disappearance of birds may be due to the prevailing drought conditions in Virajpet area.