'No bird deaths reported from Hokersar wetland'

A squad of experts from the Institute of Animal Health and Biological Products (IAH&BP), Zakura of Animal Husbandry Department, Kashmir in coordination with the Wildlife Protection Department, Kashmir Monday visited Hokersar wetland to set in motion a sustained surveillance and Monitoring for Bird Flu (Avian Influenza) here.

An official spokesman in a statement said that a team from IAH&BP, Zakura headed by DrGowharNabi Gora (Technical Officer and Nodal Officer OIE) collected 21 samples in accordance with the laid down guidelines and SOPs for Avian Influenza to be forwarded to High Security Animal Disease Lab, Bhopal and RDDL Jalandhar for further testing.

The Wildlife Veterinarian, accompanying the team informed that no deaths in birds were reported from the Hokersar wetland, the largest and most prominent of wetlands in Kashmir.

The team made an awareness presentation to the staff posted at Hokersar and advised them to be vigilant for immediate reporting of any signs and symptoms of Avian Influenza or deaths in the wild birds that have presently migrated to Kashmir valley.

The Wildlife Warden for wetlands, IfshanDewan of Hokersar Wetland informed the team that almost 1.5 lakh birds of different species were presently stationed at Hokersar for breeding as well as winter nesting.

Meanwhile, surveillance samples were also taken from the Dal Lake and adjoining areas.