Telangana on alert after bird flu fear grips the country

Forest department takes safety measures to prevent bird flu in the state

Hyderabad: Taking notice after 25,000 birds succumbing to bird flu across the country, the Telangana government on Wednesday issued alerts to the state animal husbandry, forest department, and zoos in the state as fears of the different variants of bird flu spreading grew in the country.

According to media reports, nearly 25,000 birds have died in states like Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh in the past 10 days.

However, state animal husbandry minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav on Wednesday declared that there is no presence of bird flu virus in Telangana.

Moreover, after receiving an alert sounded by the ministry of environment, forest and climate change, the forest department had taken up safety measures to prevent bird flu and to report all cases of death of birds detected in the field.

The Centre has asked all states to take preventive measures to control the spread of bird flu and to detect, report all cases of death of birds to the concerned authorities for taking necessary actions.

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The curator of Nehru Zoological Park and the officers-in-charge of Kakatiya Zoo, Warangal, Manjeera Bird Sanctuary, Sangareddy, Pakhal Wildlife Sanctuary including Pakhal lake, Siwaram WL Sanctuary, Kinnerasani WL Sanctuary including Kinnerasani lake have been instructed to constitute ‘Rapid Response Teams’ for conducting at patrolling in areas where migratory birds congregate.  Similar directions have been given to all the circle heads and division heads by the forest department.

Principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF) R. Sobha of the two Telugu states on Wednesday instructed the field officers to search for the carcasses of birds detected during this period, pack them safely and send them to veterinary science laboratories for analyzing and identifying the cause of death.

The forest department also requested the public also to be alert during this period and if any dead bird is noticed, the official asked them to give the information to the wildlife crime control cell at Aranya Bhavan in Hyderabad with a toll-free no. 18004255364.

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The officers have also been asked to coordinate with the animal husbandry department as well as their respective district administrations in taking required preventive measures and vigil to detect the death of birds.

According to forest department officials, the winter season attracts a large number of migrant birds from the northern region of the Himalayas to the southern states.  These birds nest and breed in water bodies.  Since these birds travel over long distances crossing several states, it is essential to keep track of these birds at the nesting and breeding sites. A suitable instruction has been issued in this regard by the forest department.

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