Lalit Mohan and Rajiv Mahajan
Tribune News Service
Dharamsala/Nurpur, January 4
Avian flu (H5N1) virus has killed migratory birds in the Pong wetland. The toll has crossed 1,900 till this evening, whereas wildlife teams continued counting the dead birds.
As per reports received by the district administration from the Regional Diseases Diagnostic Laboratory, Jalandhar, Veterinary College, Palampur, and National Institute of High Security Animal Disease (NIHSAD), Bhopal, avian flu (H5N1) has caused the death of aquatic birds in the lake. After the reports were received, the administration today declared the 1-km area from the lake as red zone to contain the spread of the virus in poultry birds and humans.
Rakesh Prajapati, DC, Kangra, admitted that the birds’ death was caused by avian flu.
The district authorities have banned the sale of poultry products in Dehra, Jawali, Fatehpur and Indora. The areas lie along the lake.
Prajapati said, “If avian flu spreads, we may have to cull poultry birds too.” Besides the migratory birds, there were reports that some local birds, such as crows, had been found dead in the wetland area.