Bird flu scare in Chandigarh: Five sparrows found dead in Sector 4, samples sent to lab

Forest officials told to keep a watch on birds in Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary, Nepli and Kansal forest.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh | Updated: October 24, 2016 1:56 pm

A day after the UT forest department issued a bird flu advisory, five sparrows were found dead under a tree in Sector 4 on Friday. UT chief wildlife warden Santosh Kumar said they have sent the samples to the Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (RDDL), Jalandhar, to test for bird flu.

“The cause of death of the birds will be clear only after the laboratory submit its report,” he said. The report is expected to come on Monday.

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The forest department has issued directions to its employees to keep a watch on the birds in Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary, Nepli and Kansal forest. The employees have also been told to submit a report daily. They have also been asked to keep proper stock of medicine.

The animal husbandry department has also swung into action and increased the surveillance measures.

Dr Kanwarjeet Singh, joint director, animal husbandry, said: “We have strengthened our surveillance activities in view of the bird flu in Delhi. In the past two days, we randomly collected samples of few birds and sent them for testing. So far, we have not got any samples positive.”

He added that they are keeping a tight vigil and have issued directions to the poultry farms as well.

“We have sent water samples for testing as well. We are ready to tackle any exigency. Soon we will see the migratory birds visiting Chandigarh, so we are taking more precautions,” said Kanwarjeet.

In 2014, one duck at Sukhna Lake had died of bird flu, following which more than 150 ducks of the lake were culled. The lake was also sealed and it remained out of bounds for general public for a month.