With the aim of detecting any possible cases of bird flu, the Gujarat Animal Husbandry department has sounded an alert for its district offices across the state to beef up surveillance and monitoring, a minister said on Wednesday.
Four birds were found dead at Madhi village of Surat district on Wednesday, days after the death of 55 birds in Junagadh, state Animal Husbandry Minister Kunvarji Bavaliya said.
The minister, however, asserted that Gujarat was still not affected by bird flu.
“As of now, Gujarat does not have any case of bird flu. However, after getting an advisory from the Centre in this regard, all the district headquarters under my department have been put on alert,” Mr Bavaliya said.
“Officials have been asked to work with the forest department to keep a check on the suspected cases of bird flu in their areas,” he said.
A total of 55 birds died in Junagadh two days back.
However, the report of their post-mortem held poisoning and not flu as the reason.
“Today, four crow-like birds were found dead at Madhi in Surat. We have sent the carcasses to a Bhopal-based laboratory for further investigation,” the minister said.
Carcasses of 46 lapwings, four ducks and three ruffs were found by locals near Kharo dam in Junagadh district on the night of January 2. Later, two of the four birds which were rescued from the area died on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Ahmedabad Animal Husbandry division swung into action after getting the alert.
“Following the alert, we have collected the samples from birds of Kankaria Zoo as well as from migratory birds and sent them to the Bhopal-based virology laboratory,” deputy director of Animal Husbandry Suketu Upadhyay said.
As a precautionary measure, the Kankaria Zoo authority sprayed anti-virus medicine near bird cages and instructed the zoo keepers to alert the higher authorities if they spot any dead bird, zoo director RK Sahu said.
The Centre on Wednesday said the bird flu outbreak has been reported in four states — Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh- and advisories have been issued to contain further spread of the infection in poultry ducks, crows and migratory birds.