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Govt Officials Rule Out Avian Flu as Cause of Bird Deaths in Gujarat's Junagadh

Image for representational purpose.

Image for representational purpose.

Out of 53 birds of three breeds found dead near Kharo dam in Manavadar tehsil on January 3, autopsy of two carcasses was conducted, said a release by the district nodal officer, Junagadh district panchayat.

Days after 53 birds were found dead near a dam in Junagadh district of Gujarat, government officials on Tuesday denied reports of a bird flu outbreak. Autopsy reports of two carcasses suggested that they died due to poisoning, district and forest officials said.

Out of 53 birds of three breeds found dead near Kharo dam in Manavadar tehsil on January 3, autopsy of two carcasses was conducted, said a release by the district nodal officer, Junagadh district panchayat. "The reports suggested that they died due to poisoning. Bird flu was not responsible for their death.

"The autopsy report also said that no symptoms of respiratory tract infection were found," the statement said. Samples were sent to a forensic laboratory in Ahmedabad for a detailed investigation, it added.

When contacted, Shyamal Tikadar, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Wildlife also refuted the bird flu possibility. The bird carcasses were found by locals on the night of January 2 after which a joint team of the Forest Department and district administration visited the spot. The dead birds included 46 lapwings, four ducks and three ruffs.

Four sick birds were also rescued from the area on January 3, of which two died on Tuesday, said Dr D D Panera, Deputy Director, Animal Husbandry division, Junagadh. "We have sent the carcasses of these two birds to Ahmedabad, from where they will be sent to a Bhopal-based laboratory which specializes in bird flu detection," he said.

As per the Union government's guidelines, a surveillance of poultry birds will be carried out in Junagadh district, Dr Panera added. Bird flu virus has been detected in some crows whose carcasses were found in Indore in Madhya Pradesh recently.

An outbreak of the avian flu has also been reported from two poultry farms in Kerala's Kozhikode district besides in parts of Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan.


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