Photo used for indicative purpose only. Source: Internet

Shimla, Jan 5

The Bird Flu confirmation in the Pong dams wild life sanctuary has drawn attention of world around ornithologists and bird watchers as the Ransar site count of bird deaths due to outbreak increased to 2700 on tuesday.
The Pong Dam which attracts more than 1.25 lakh migratory birds per annum has become ground zero for Bird Flu outbreak in the Country. The count of dead birds is rising sharply as it went to 2700 till filling this report, though Counting was yet continuing.
The day after H5N1 was confirmed among hundreds of dead migratory birds at Pong Dam Lake in Kangra
district of Himachal Pradesh, Vet testing centres, and Wildlife authority have been on high alert conditions.
State Animal husbandry officials had to burn mid-night burners following sudden confirmation of birds flu. As per experts the state wildlife authority delayed testing and counting of carcass because of which the magnitude of the problem got late attention. There are initial reports that Wild life authorities were alerted much before the outbreak of the avain influenza. Also read
The main cause of concern is Pong Dam where thousands of migratory birds from across Himalayas and Siberia come for a winter surjourn in Kangra district.

The Veterinary department particularly in Kangra district is rushing to the Chicken shops to contain the spreading of flu to domestic poultry birds and human beings. 
The Data released by the state Government on Tuesday confirmed that  number of migratory waterfowl, mostly Bar-Headed Geese, found dead along the Pong dam banks sands grounds as counting of more carcasses was underway.
Rapid response teams were constituted and collecting of samples of poultry from an area of radius ten kilometres from around the Pong dam lake, as  it was declared surveillance zone,
Fortunately, there has so far been no report of any unusual sickness or death among the poultry in the area,” said animal husbandry deputy director (epidemiology) Dr Munish Batta. Poultry samples are being sent to the northern regional disease diagnostic laboratory in Jalandhar, he added 
The Kangra district administration banned all human and livestock activities within an area of one kilometre from the lake’s periphery as this areas is declared containment zone. There  is prohibition on slaughter, sale, purchase and export of any poultry, birds, fish and their products in Fatehpur, Dehra, Jawali and Indora subdivisions of the district which surround the lake. Shops selling these products have been ordered shut.

Dr Batta said that the national bird flu action plan has been set in motion in the state, and the frontline field staff is provided with adequate PPE kits and preventive medicines.
A media had reported in December about surveillance of more than 50,000 migratory birds for Birds Flu. But an alert was sounded after the recovery of  400 dead migratory birds in proximity of dam sanctuary area is raising the eye brows on the state wild life authority.  The confirmation of Bird Flu in India was first reported  among domestic Crow in Jaipur of Rajasthan it was  followed by the Pong dam and others water sanctuary areas in the country. 
Since the Renuka, Govind Sagar and other lakes in the state also attract migratory birds in smaller numbers respective district Administrations also sounded alert however no confirmation of bird blu is found in any place other than Pong dam for H5N1. 


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