KENDRAPARA: Amid bird flu scare in Chilika lake, Bhitarkanika National Park officials on Wednesday began collection of wet faecal droppings and serum samples from the migratory birds and poultry farms in the district.
A team of veterinary doctors on Wednesday collected 180 serum samples from poultry farms and wet faecal droppings from 80 migratory birds. First, the samples will be sent to the Animal Disease Research Institute (ADRI) in Cuttack for a test. Later, it will be dispatched to the High-Security Animal Disease Laboratory in Bhopal to ascertain the disease, said Additional Veterinary Surgeon of Rajnagar Debi Prasad Kund.
The forest and veterinary officials also distributed leaflets among the villagers near the park to create awareness about the bird flu. Surveillance of migratory birds continues at Bhitarkanika, Satabhaya, Hukitola and other major habitats as large numbers of avian guests have already arrived in water bodies and mangrove forests of the park for their annual winter sojourn.
Chief District Veterinary Officer (CDVO) Santanu Kumar Takairi said, “We have already vaccinated around 35,000 poultry birds and requested farm owners to approach the nearest veterinary dispensaries to get the birds vaccinated to prevent the disease.”
Similarly, Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) comprising 19 Veterinary Assistant Surgeons, 55 livestock inspectors, one Gomitra, Zilla Parisada members and social workers have been formed in all nine blocks of the district. The forest officials will conduct the bird census in January in Bhitarkanika. During the annual census, senior veterinary officials will detect sick birds, he added. Meanwhile, there has been a major dip in chicken consumption in the district following the alert on bird flu.