Monitor national parks, wetlands where birds flock in view of avian flu: Gehlot to officials

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Jaipur, Jan 5 (PTI) Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday instructed officials to maintain special vigil in view of death of crows and other birds due to avian influenza.

Chairing a review meeting of the animal husbandry department, he said special focus should be given on monitoring in Keoladeo National Park and other sanctuaries, Sambhar lake and in all such places where birds flock.

After bird flu was confirmed in samples of carcasses sent from Jhalawar, avian influenza subtype H5N8, which experts said is less infectious than H5N1 virus, has been detected in Rajasthan's Kota and Baran districts.

The state on Tuesday reported deaths of 200 more birds, officials said.

They said the number of birds which died in Rajasthan in the recent days reached 625 on Tuesday morning, amid an outbreak of bird flu. The fatalities were reported in 16 of the 33 districts of Rajasthan.

Chief Minister Gehlot said death of birds, including crows, have been reported in 16 districts of the state which is a matter of concern.

'Effective preventive measures should be ensured. Veterinarians and avian experts should analyse these incidents closely and keep ensure arrangements to prevent the situation from aggravating,' a release quoting him said.

Gehlot also appealed to the public to inform control rooms set up by the animal husbandry department if they see any dead bird near their houses.

Secretary of animal husbandry department Arushi Malik said 625 birds have been reported dead in the state so far and out of which, 122 samples have been sent to laboratory in Bhopal. PTI SDA NSD