BHUBANESWAR: In a major relief to the State Government, the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), Bhopal has ruled out avian influenza (bird flu) as the cause of death of peacocks in Khurda district.
All the swabs and samples of dead peacocks, crow and crane sent to NIHSAD have tested negative for bird flu, Secretary to Fisheries and Animal Resources Development Department (FARD) Bishnupada Sethi said on Tuesday.
On December 8, 20 birds including 18 peacocks were found dead near a water body at Madhupur village forest bordering Chandaka Wildlife Sanctuary in Khurda district. Suspecting that the deaths might have been caused by bird flu, experts at Odisha University of Agricultural Technology (OUAT) sent the samples to NIHSAD while FARD and Forest Department officials inspected the villages surrounding the forest and took measures to check the spread of suspected bird flu.
Even as the bird flu angle is out of contention, mystery shrouds the mass death of birds at one place and at one go. While poisoning appears another credible cause, it can only be ascertained after post-mortem. The dead birds have been preserved at OUAT and post-mortem will be conducted soon, officials said.