Preventive measures to check bird flu in Shipailjala sanctuary

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Agartala, Apr 29(UNI) With the detection of bird flu in Bishalgarh, the Shipaijala Sanctuary is taking all measures to prevent any outbreak of the H5N1 virus.

As a preventative step the authorities have sent blood samples of birds from the sanctuary yesterday for testing.

Culling operation was on in full swing and all birds within a periphery of 5 KM of the affected area were being culled, except those in the sanctury.

According to an Animal Resource Department official, the Shipaijala Sanctuary inmates do not fall under the culling operation as it has many rare species.

The Sanctuary and Zoo officials were taking their own measures to check and prevent the outbreak of the virus.

Zoo Director Ajit Bhoumik said, ''We have taken all measures so as to stop the outbreak of avian influenza in our Sanctuary and are in regular touch with the Veterinary Research Institute at Beril and the Central Zoo authority. We are following their guidelines.'' Shipaijala, spread over an area of 18 Sq Kilometre, has about 21 species of birds, including some very rare ones.

''We have taken blood samples of birds but culling is not possible here though it falls under the culling area as the Sanctuary houses some of the rarest species,'' Mr Bhoumik said.

Meanwhile, culling in Bishalgarh was on in full swing in 11 designated places since Sunday and till today around 20,000 birds had been culled. As per estimate another 15,000 will be culled in the next few days.

''Culling in Bishalgarh is going to be completed in another three days after which the mopping up operation will start, said Mr Ashudeb Das, Sub-Divisional Magistrate Bishalgarh.

UNI XC PL RL ND1654

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