Gurbax Puri/Anirudh Gupta
Tarn Taran/Ferozepur, Dec 21
Nearly 500 crows have been found dead in the past four days at Baghiari village near Tarn Taran, which is close to a bird sanctuary at Sarai Amanat Khan. With bird flu causing deaths of geese at Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh, senior officials of the Animal Husbandry Department have responded quickly to take preventive measures in the area. The district administration is also on alert.
“The reasons for the birds’ deaths could be the use of pesticide in fields, contaminated water or the cold wave. However, we have sent the carcasses of birds to Regional Diagnostic Laboratory in Jalandhar to know the exact cause of the deaths,” said Dr Raminder Monga, Deputy Director, Animal Husbandry Department. He added that it would take six days to know the reason for such a high bird mortality,” said Dr Monga. Deputy Commissioner Balwinder Singh Dhaliwal met officials of various departments and constituted response teams. Amarinder Singh Tiwana, a PCS officer, has been made the point person to coordinate with all teams. Dhaliwal urged people in the area to stay alert and do not panic.
“We are keeping a close watch on the areas where migratory birds land in a big number. We have collected blood samples of migratory birds from Harike Wildlife Sanctuary,” he said.
Wildlife officials at the Harike sanctuary, spread over about 90 km, have gone into overdrive following the reports of avian influenza at Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh. Harike Divisional Forest Officer Neeraj Gupta said the bird droppings had been sent for investigation to ascertain their health status. “We have also banned the entry of visitors to the lake. All steps are being taken as a precautionary measure following the bird flu scare,” Gupta said.