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Telangana: Forest officials suspected bird flu carrier Bar-Headed Goose

Mrs. R. Shobha IFS, Chief Wildlife Warden informed the participants that in an unfolding Avian Flu crisis, a substantial number of high altitude birds, particularly the Bar Headed Goose, which add charm to our wetlands every winter have perished along with other birds species. Latest reports of Avian Flu indicate spread in 9 States i.e UP, Himachal, Delhi, Haryana, Gujarat, Rajasthan, MP, Maharashtra, & Kerala.

The Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, GOI requested all the States to take preventive measures to control the spread of Bird Flu and to detect and report all cases of death of Birds to the concerned authorities for taking necessary actions.

Over 2000 Bar Headed Goose were found dead in Pong Dam lake in Himachal. More than 4.00 lakh birds have died (domestic & wild) in Haryana. Over 1.20 lakh ducks have died in Kerala. The Strains of bird flu confirmed are H5N8 and H5N1.These strains are zootomic and have potential to spread to human population also.

Preventive Measures

The field officers have been instructed to collect the carcasses of birds detected during this period, pack them safely and send to veterinary science laboratories for analysing and identifying cause of death. The general public has been requested to be alert and if any dead bird is noticed, the information should be passed on to the wildlife crime control cell at Aranya Bhavan, Hyderabad with toll free no. 1800-425-5364, which functions around the clock.

The District Officers have been requested to coordinate with the Animal Husbandry, as well as the District Administration in taking required preventive measures and vigil to detect death of birds.The Nehru Zoo Park, Hyderabad and Kakatiya Zoo,  Warangal have taken prophylactic measures like spread of bleaching and lime powder around enclosures, maintaining cleanliness and hygiene in the area. Bird sections in the Zoos have been closed to public and only animal keepers protected with PPE kits are permitted to provide feed & water.

All water bodies and reservoirs in forest & wildlife areas are under surveillance for sick and dead birds. The Forest Dept., seeks the co-operation of NGOs and Volunteers to keep surveillance on wetlands and bird areas outside forests and protected areas. Central Zoo Authority is using daily progress report to monitor the spread of the virus.

The NGO’s participated in the meeting assured the Forest Department of their full co-operation and support for the detection and control of Bird Flu.

PCCF R. Sobha, Adl PCCF Siddhanand Kukreti, OSD Shankaran , WWF Farida Tampal, and NGOs Participated this meeting.

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