As many as 53 birds, including 46 red-wattled lapwings, three waders and four ducks, were found dead on the bank of Kharo reservoir in Manavadar taluka of Junagadh district on Saturday. Veterinary officers said that prima facie, the birds could have died due food poisoning.
A team of Manavadar range of Gir Somnath social forestry department rushed to the bank of Kharo reservoir in Bantva village of Manavadar taluka of Junagadh district on Saturday after being alerted that a few dozen carcasses were found on the bank of the dam.
“We conducted a spot inspection and recovered carcasses of 46 red-wattled lapwing, three ruffs, three northen shoveller ducks and one comb duck. We rushed to the site after a man from Rajasthan who had come to Bantva to meet his relatives went for an outing on the dam site and found the dead birds and alerted the forest department,” Ushma Nanavati, assistant-conservator of forests of Gir Somnath social forestry division, told The Indian Express on Sunday.
Ruffs are birds of wader family while northern shovellers and comb ducks are birds of the duck family.
Suspecting that the birds could have died due to some disease, forest officers handed the carcasses over to the office of veterinary officer (VO) of Manavadar.
“The incident has been reported from the revenue area… we have handed over the carcasses to local officers of the state veterinary department. They will conduct postmortem and laboratory tests to know the cause of the deaths… We are maintaining a strict vigil at the dam site and no further bird casualty has been reported so far,” Nanavati added.
VO Nitin Fadadu said that postmortem was in progress at Animal Disease Inevstigation Unit (ADIU) of state animal husbandry division in Junagadh city on Sunday evening. “Some carcasses had started autolysing, suggesting the birds could have died two to three days ago. Postmortem of three lapwings has been completed and prima facie they appear to have died due to food poisoning. Wheat have been found to be present in their bowels… Prima facie, no signs of infection have been found in their trachea and lungs…” Fadadu said adding the samples will be sent to the laboratory in Gandhinagar for further testing.
Dr Savji Vaghasia, deputy director of animal husbandry who conducted post-morterm of the birds at ADIU in Junagadh, also said that prima facie, the birds died of food poisoning. “Organs of the birds do not indicate history of any avian flu. The carcasses were found from a small patch and there has not been any reports of any avian flu from nearby areas… hence, primary conclusion is that the birds could have died due to food poisoning. However, we have drawn samples of the dead bird and send them to the National High Security Animal Disease Laboratory in Bhopal,” said Dr Vaghasia.
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