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Posted at: Jan 13, 2015, 12:43 AM; last updated: Jan 12, 2015, 11:18 PM (IST)

Gurgaon poultry farms put on alert

No fresh deaths in Sultanpur sanctuary | Officials monitor birds at Okhla too

Deaths due to pesticide spray?

  • Officials and experts have not found flu-like symptoms in the birds found dead at Sultanpur sanctuary
  • An Animal Husbandry Department top officer said the dead birds were found at the same spot and none of them showed symptoms of flu
  • He said it is suspected the birds died due to spray of pesticide in nearby fields and farmers were told to cut down on use of pesticides.
Gurgaon poultry farms put on alert

The Forest Department has shut the Sultanpur National Park for a week after migratory birds died. Tribune photo: Sayeed Ahmed

Sumedha Sharma

Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, January 12

Around 100 poultry farms in the district have been put on high alert by the Animal Husbandry Department though no fresh deaths were reported from the Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary today. No bird deaths have been reported so far from East Delhi’s Okhla Bird Sanctuary, but officials are keeping a close watch.

Field doctors visited the poultry farms to review the bird’s health and directed owners to get the birds vaccinated soon. “All poultry farm owners have been alerted to be on the lookout for any symptoms of disease in the birds. Our doctors are checking and vaccinating the birds and creating awareness among farmers,” said Rajinder Yadav, Deputy Director, Animal Husbandry Department.

The alert was sounded after 45 birds, including some migratories, were found dead in a lake at the sanctuary on Saturday. Samples from the birds were sent to Bhopal to test for presence of a highly-pathogenic strain of avian influenza virus (H5N1) spreading in the region. The sanctuary has been shut for a week.

Officials and experts have not found flu-like symptoms in the dead birds. “The dead birds were found at the same spot. None of them showed any symptoms of flu. We suspect they could have died due to spray of pesticide in nearby fields. We are in touch with farmers and have asked them to minimise use of pesticides as it is probably affecting the birds,” Yadav said.

The Forest Department has, meanwhile, increased vigilance at Sultanpur sanctuary. Birds are being checked on an hourly basis and adjoining villages have been alerted to keep a close eye on ill or dead birds. The Health Department has also been asked to stay alert for any emergency.

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