Uttarakhand on high alert over bird flu scare
Dehradun, Jan 12: A high alert has been sounded across Uttarakhand with the samples of two dead crows testing positive for bird flu in the state Samples of two dead crows sent to a lab in Bhopal tested positive for avian influenza on Monday, forest officials confirmed.
With the confirmation of bird flu in Uttarakhand a high alert has been sounded across the state, State Animal Husbandry Minister Rekha Arya said. Officials have been asked to remain vigilant and keep a tab on import of chicken and eggs from neighbouring states like Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, she said.
"However, so far bird flu has been confirmed only in wild birds in Uttarakhand. The poultry sector is by far free from the virus," Arya said. "Still all precautions are being taken. People have been asked not to touch a dead bird and report the death to the authorities concerned," she said.
Forest personnel engaged in collecting samples of dead birds or burying their carcasses have been asked not to do it without wearing PPE kits, the minister said. Nearly 300 birds mostly crows have been found dead in different parts of Uttarakhand including Dehradun, Rishikesh and Kotdwar over the past few days.
While a majority of the carcasses have been safely buried, some of them have been sent for testing to the National Institute of High Security Animal Disease in Bhopal and Indian Veterinary Research Institute Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh.
State level and district level committees were also set up on Tuesday to check the spread of avian influenza as per the guidelines and SOPs issued by the Centre, Animal Husbandry Secretary R Meenakshi Sundaram said.