Dead birds raise flu concern
Bhubaneswar, Feb. 29: The bird flu virus may not be fully eradicated from Kerang, the first epicentre of the H5N1 virus, as five pigeons and two crows were found dead by the fisheries and animal resources development department (Fard) experts at Parichhal village in Begunia block, 15km from Kerang.
While the department has asked livestock inspectors of Begunia to burn the dead birds and bury them, samples of the dead birds are also being collected to send them to the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory in Bhopal for testing.
“After culling of the poultry birds in and around Kerang within the 10km radius of the epicentre in Khurda district, the department has collected around 100 blood and swab samples. These were sent to the laboratory. A team has already visited the sites and we are taking swift action. The district collector is monitoring the exercise,’’ said additional chief district veterinary officer S.K. Baliarsingh.
Villagers of Parichhal have been noticing deaths of crows and pigeons for the past few days. While the pigeons were found dead near the village temple, the dead crows were found at various places in the village.
Veterinary surgeon Biswaranjan Rout of Begunia block said: “The authorities have provided Rs 5,000 for the disposal of bird carcass because of the suspected H5N1 infection. We are disposing of the birds properly, but the samples to be sent to the laboratory are to be collected by the authorities of the district office.’’ Experts at the FARD control room in the city earlier had said that after the onset of summer, the virulence of the H5N1 would reduce.