Chhatbir Deer Safari shut after foot and mouth disease cases : The Tribune India

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Chhatbir Deer Safari shut after foot and mouth disease cases

Chhatbir Deer Safari shut after foot and mouth disease cases

A restricted area at Chhatbir zoo on Saturday. TRIBUNE PHOTO



Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 24

Deer Safari of Mahendra Chowdhry Zoological Park (Chhatbir Zoo) has been closed in the wake of cases of foot and mouth disease (FMD) among animals.

Zoo officials are on high alert after one of sambars in the safari tested positive for the virus. The FMD virus is highly contagious and it affects ruminants such as cattle, buffalo and deer. It spreads rapidly through air and animal to animal.

Field Director Kalpana K said the last time the disease outbreak was witnessed in 2018 here. Several animals had perished. Having learnt from the past experience, the animal management and veterinary team was on high alert after some cases of suspected FMD were reported in Punjab. A few sambars in the safari were suspected to be having symptoms of FMD, so immediate bio-security measures and preventive protocol, including the closure of the safari and enclosures of other herbivores animals to visitors, have been taken.

The samples of animals with symptoms were sent to the Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Bareilly, which declared these positive for FMD. The veterinary team is treating the affected animals. No death has been reported so far.

The zoo administration has also written to the Animal Husbandry Department to ensure that the standard protocol for treatment of cattle and buffalo in villages near the zoo should be carried out along with vaccination to check the FMD spread.

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