Centre forms committee to keep vigil on rising threat of bird flu

The Union Environment Ministry said a constant vigil is kept around the National Zoological Parks to monitor and contain the H5 avian influenza along with the state agencies

By: PTI | New Delhi | Updated: October 24, 2016 1:56 pm
Development Minister Gopal Rai at Delhi zoo, where ten birds have died of suspected bird flu. (Express Photo: Tashi Tobgyal) Development Minister Gopal Rai at Delhi zoo, where ten birds have died of suspected bird flu. (Express Photo: Tashi Tobgyal)

The Centre Saturday formed a three-member committee to keep a close watch on the bird flu situation which has so far killed 24 birds in the national capital.

The Union Environment Ministry said a constant vigil is kept around the National Zoological Parks to monitor and contain the H5 avian influenza along with the state agencies.

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“Constant vigil being observed by Government agencies in & around National Zoological Park to monitor & contain H5 Avian Influenza in.. co ordination with State level Agencies. @moefcc has constituted a three-member committee to keep a close watch over the developments,” Union Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave said in a series of tweets.

The Delhi government had Friday shut the Hauz Khas Deer Park amid bird flu scare. It has also cancelled leaves of all officials of Delhi Animal Husbandry Department.

However, it has ruled out any threat to human beings due to the bird flu because the strain of the virus is “less infective”.

Twenty-four birds have died at different places, including 11 ducks at the Deer Park since October 14. The Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries at the Centre had Friday said a new bird flu virus subtype, H5N8, has been confirmed in samples from Gandhi Zoological Park, Gwalior.

It had also asked the Environment Ministry to issue advisories to all wildlife/bird sanctuaries in the country. In view of transportation of poultry and related products between Rajasthan and Delhi, the Rajasthan government has also issued necessary directions to the field officers and asked them to take “precautionary measures” to check its likely outbreak in the state.