BHUBANESWAR: A day after multiple species of birds, majority of them peacocks, were found dead in a forested region of Khurda, the Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Directorate apprehending avian influenza (AI) behind the deaths, asked all districts to mount surveillance and report any unusual mortality among birds.
It has also begun the process of setting up control rooms at directorate and district levels while putting in place two rapid response teams in Khurda.
Joint teams of Animal Diseases Research Institute (ADRI), Phulnakhara, Forest Department as well as Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) visited Madhupur for ground inspection on Wednesday. As many as 20 peacocks, cranes and crows were found dead in the village on Tuesday.
Commissioner-cum-Secretary to Fisheries and Animal Resources Development Department Bishnupada Sethi said five teams were sent to the spot and no further mortality was reported. However, as a precautionary measure, Ranikhet disease vaccination is being conducted in the surrounding villages, he informed adding that there is no reason for panic as of now.
The teams also surveyed six villages under Angarpada gram panchayat (GP) including Madhupur, Angarpada, Mahula, Minchinpatna, Palaspur and Paniola for AI surveillance. Though no case of affected or dead bird was reported, samples have been collected and will be sent to the Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at Kolkata, Joint Director of ADRI Lokanath Behera said.
Two mobile veterinary units with seven veterinary surgeons and three livestock inspectors have been carrying out the surveillance for AI. Domestic birds have been scanned while two poultry farms in Paniola village were also surveyed on the day.
Behera said, the immediate task was to ascertain or rule out bird flu. “We have already sent the samples to HSADL, Bhopal and are awaiting test report. Since we had tagged the case as priority, the reports are expected within 72 hours,” he added.
Preliminary investigation has revealed no case of wild bird being affected in the area. Peacock mortality too has not been reported. While poisoning as a case is under scanner, it can only be ascertained only after a post-mortem is conducted. The dead birds have been preserved and only after HSADL report is received, the post-mortem will be conducted.
During Wednesday’s investigation, the teams also spotted a live, yet sick bird from which swab has been collected. Similarly, sample from the water body was taken. The ADRI which is mandated with intensive surveillance for avian influenza has also sought reports from the districts.
Meanwhile, Chief District Veterinary Officer (CDVO) of Khurda has directed that samples from birds at Chilika lagoon be collected and sent for investigation. Divisional Forest Officer, Chilika, Bikash Ranjan Dash said so far, no suspicious bird death has been reported and vigil has been mounted.