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Bird flu alert sounded in Bhitarkanika National Park

The authorities have begun collecting wet faecal droppings and serum samples from the migratory birds and poultry in and around the park.

Published: 04th January 2021 09:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th January 2021 09:21 AM   |  A+A-

Migratory birds in Bhitarkanika National Park | Express

By Express News Service

BHITARKANIKA: In the wake of bird flu scare in Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, a red alert has been sounded at Bhitarkanika National Park, home to thousands of migratory birds during winter. Additional district veterinary officer (disease control) Dr Suresh Chandra Mishra said the officials of the park were directed by the State government to keep a watch on migratory birds to check the spread of bird flu.

The authorities have begun collecting wet faecal droppings and serum samples from the migratory birds and poultry in and around the park. . A team of veterinary doctors fanned out across the park and farms and collected around 1,200 serum samples and wet faecal droppings in the last two days. The samples will be stored in leak-proof containers and cold chains and sent to Animal Disease Research Institute, Cuttack and then to the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. 

READ HERE | Bird flu alert in Rajasthan after crow deaths in several districts

 The forest and veterinary officials have distributed leaflets and booklets among residents of villagers near the park to create awareness on the disease. Surveillance of migratory birds is being conducted at Bhitarkanika, Satabhaya, Hukitola and other major habitats as a large number of migratory birds have already arrived at the water bodies and mangrove forest of the park and other areas this winter, said Dr Mishra.“We have  also requested farmers rearing poultry birds to utilise this opportunity and approach the nearest veterinary dispensaries to get the birds vaccinated to prevent the viral disease,” he said. 

A Rapid Response Team (RRT) has been formed in all blocks of the  district. Each RRT comprises 22 veterinary assistant surgeons (VAS), livestock  inspectors, zilla parishad members and social workers. Forest  and veterinary officials are keeping a close watch on migratory birds particularly bar-headed geese , Brahmani Duck, plovers, pintails  and other species as they are prone to carry the H5NI strain of avian influenza. 



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