November 28, 2008


Bird flu alert in Bhitarkanika National Park, India


The Forest and Veterinary officials have sounded alert in Bhitarkanika Sanctuary, India after large numbers of migratory birds started arriving in the national park with the onset on winter.


Dr Keshaba Chandra Mohanty, Chief District Veterinary Officer (CDVO) said the officials have also taken precautionary steps to detect any sick birds in the park and its nearby areas.


Two years back, two scientists from Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) examined a few migratory and local birds to detect the presence of flu virus. But they could not find any trace of it, said the officer.


Forest and veterinary officials are also keeping a watchful eye on migratory birds like bar-headed geese, Bramihin Duck, plovers and other migratory species as they were found carrying H5NI strain of avian influenza in the past.


“This year we will also collect blood samples of 300 birds shortly. We have also trained 40 poultry farm owners to detect sick hens,'' said Mohanty.

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