BARIPADA: Close on the heels of the outbreak of bird flu in Jharkhand, the bordering villages in the tribal-dominated district of Mayurbhanj have been put on alert. Veterinary officials have been asked to inspect chicken farms and hatcheries.
Sources said scores of crows were found dead in Khunta on Monday pressing the panic button among the residents and the poultry farm owners. As mass death of crows was reported from Ranchi, Bokaro, Jamshedpur and Dumka in Jharkhand due to the H5N1 variant of bird flu, the poultry traders of Mayurbhanj belt close to these areas are a scared lot.
Veterinary department sources said H5N1 virus spreads through air and the government cannot take any risk. A team has been constituted to keep a close watch on the poultry farms. Officials have been deployed at check posts near Anlakuda, Dhumsahi, Amarda, Ghagarbadha, Bombay Chhack, Gorumohisani, Bahalda, Jamda and Bisoi.
Chief District Veterinary Officer Nityananda Das said four teams, including three veterinary mobile teams, have been constituted for regular checking of vehicles importing chicken.
The veterinary officials have so far collected around 160 blood samples of poultry and chicken from the farms in Tiring, Bahalda, Kusumi, Raruan, Sarashkana, Bijatala, Gorumohisani and Jamda blocks.
"The blood samples have been sent to Animals Disease Research Institute (ADRI) for tests,” he said adding no positive case has been found yet.
Das suspects that the crows died due to severe cold in about three to five days. “We have collected a few dead crows from Khunta and sent to ADRI for lab test,” he added.