Amid bird flu scare, 35 crows die in Delhi; samples sent to labs for testing

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New Delhi, Jan 8 (PTI) Amid a bird flu scare, at least 35 crows have died in the national capital in the last few days and the samples have been sent to labs for testing, officials said on Friday. Earlier, an official of the animal husbandry unit had said around 50 birds, mostly crows, had died over the last three to four days in these three areas.

'We received information about the death of crows in Dwarka, Mayur Vihar Phase 3 and Hastsal village in west Delhi. However, it is yet to be ascertained if bird flu infection is the reason,' Dr Rakesh Singh from the department said.

'On the directions of Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, a rapid response team was rushed to Central Park in Mayur Vihar Phase III.

'Seventeen crows were found dead in the park and four samples were collected. The remaining carcasses were disposed of through deep burial method,' a statement said.

Two crows were found dead in DDA Park, Dwarka, and one sample was collected from there.

The collected samples will be sent to the National Institute of High Security Animal Disease, ICAR, Bhopal, on Saturday, the statement said.

Sixteen crows were found dead in DDA Park, Hastsal Village in west district and four samples were sent to Northern Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, Jalandhar.

The Centre had on Wednesday said avian influenza or bird flu outbreak has been reported at 12 epicentres in Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh, while Haryana is on high alert due to unusual mortality at poultry farms in Panchkula.

Sisodia had said on Thursday that there is no case of bird flu in Delhi yet and asked officials to keep a close watch on poultry birds coming in from neighbouring states to prevent any infection.

Eleven rapid response teams have been set up to monitor Delhi's potential hotspots, officials said.

Sisodia had also instructed officials to maintain a strict vigil on birds at major bird sites, especially poultry markets, water bodies, zoos and other potential hotspots.

These include Ghazipur Fish and Poultry Market, Shakti Sthal Lake, Sanjay Lake, Bhalswa Horseshoe Lake, Delhi Zoo, and smaller water bodies in DDA parks among others. PTI GVS TDS TDS