Avian flu: MP experts explore crows, migratory birds link

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Indore, Jan 10 (PTI) Nearly 700 crows have been found dead in Madhya Pradesh since December 26 amid the avian influenza scare and the chances of their getting infected with the virus is high as they feed on other dead birds, experts said on Sunday.

State animal husbandry department director Dr RK Rokde said bird flu test reports were making it clear that crows were more vulnerable to the infection.

'There is a hunch that avian influenza came into the country through migratory birds. Droppings of such visiting birds have been sent for tests,' Rokde added.

'Nearly 700 crows have been found dead since December 26 in various parts of the state, particularly Indore, Mandsaur and Agar Malwa. However, the number of deaths have decreased over the past two days,' he said.

Indore-based ornithologist Ajay Gadikar said, 'Crows mostly thrive on the meat of dead birds and animals. It may be that crows ate a dead migratory bird and contracted the infection. As they move in large numbers, called murder, crows are more vulnerable to contracting the disease.' The first case was detected in the state after some crows were found dead in Residency area of Indore on December 29. PTI HWP LAL BNM BNM