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Avian Botulism caused bird tragedy at Sambhar lake, Ashok Gehlot demands Centre's help

According to Professor AK Kataria from Apex Centre for Animal Disease- Avian Botulism, a neuromuscular illness in birds,  is the prime cause for the massive bird casualties at Sambhar lake.

Published: 21st November 2019 11:24 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st November 2019 11:24 PM   |  A+A-

Civic workers collect dead birds at the Sambhar Salt Lake in Rajasthan Tuesday Nov. 12 2019. Thousands of birds of various species were found dead at the lake even as authorities tried to ascertain the cause of the large scale deaths.

Civic workers collect dead birds at the Sambhar Salt Lake in Rajasthan Tuesday Nov. 12 2019. Thousands of birds of various species were found dead at the lake even as authorities tried to ascertain the cause of the large scale deaths. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

JAIPUR: The cause of the massive bird tragedy in Rajasthan's Sambhar Lake is the Avian Botulism, says the IVRI ( Indian Veterinary Research Institute) of Bareilly in its report. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday confirmed this, saying that the report has been received and Avian botulism has been attributed to be the cause of the death of birds in Sambhar lake.

The report from IVRI or Indian Veterinary Research Institute from Bareilly has confirmed the suspicions first raised by Professor AK Kataria from Bikaner’s Apex Centre for Animal Disease – that Avian Botulism, a neuromuscular illness in birds,  is the prime cause for the massive bird casualties at Sambhar lake.

ALSO READ | Sambhar deathbed: Avian death toll goes past 12,000 mark

CM Ashok Gehlot on Thursday admitted that the IVRI report has been received and has revealed that the death of thousands of migratory birds at Sambhar Lake was due to avian botulism. Scientists and bird experts say that the illness is caused by a toxin that is produced by the bacterium clostridium botulinum, and when this toxin enters the body of birds through water, it usually proves fatal for the birds.

As the death toll of birds at Sambhar lake continues to rise alarmingly and over 20,000 birds mostly migratory have lost lives , Gehlot has now sought the Central Government's help to tackle the crisis , in a letter written  to Union Minister of Environment, Prakash Javadekar asking that a  Secretary level officer should be sent to Rajasthan to look into the matter. Gehlot said that the Central Government has experts who can ascertain the death of the birds. However, he added that the situation in Sambhar is now under control.

ALSO READ: NGT seeks report on carcasses of migratory birds at Sambhar lake

"The Secretary of the Government of India should come here, have a meeting with our officials, the Government of India should also take it seriously. If the Government of India cooperates fully, this tragedy can be controlled as soon as possible" said Gehlot

The issue of the bird tragedy at Sambhar had also reached the Parliament – and finally the Central government took cognizance on Wednesday and asked teams from various institutions in Bareilly, Bhopal and Bangalore to collect samples from Sambhar lake.

Meanwhile, the Rajasthan High Court has become more pro-active on this avian crisis and has appointed Nitin Jain as an amicus curie and asked for a report within two days.

When the amicus curie reached the lake and saw the entire process there, he flagged off several issues and questions about this crisis, “The situation at Sambhar Lake is not satisfactory. If top agencies in the country are unable to do much even after 14 days, it is time to look for support and solutions from some foreign labs and agencies. Once we have some definitive ideas and results, action to reform and rectify this crisis can be taken effectively.”

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  • Govind Sharma

    Can someone send me the link of the original report as submitted by IVRI?
    4 months ago reply
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