Kendrapada: In wake of bird flu scare in Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, the Odisha government has alerted Forest Department officials against a possible outbreak in Bhitarkanika National Park, which is home to thousands of migratory birds during winter.
Following a government directive, officials have begun collecting wet faecal droppings and serum samples from migratory birds and poultry in and around the national park, Additional District Veterinary Officer of Kendrapada, Dr Suresh Chandra Mishra informed.
The samples will be stored in leak-proof containers and cold chains and sent to the Animal Disease Research Institute in Cuttack and then to the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh for testing, The New Indian Express reported.
As part of the drive, officials have also distributed leaflets and booklets among villagers near the park to create awareness on the disease. “We have also requested poultry farm owners to approach the nearest veterinary dispensaries to get the birds vaccinated to prevent the viral disease,” Mishra said.
Forest and veterinary officials are keeping a close watch on migratory birds particularly bar-headed geese , Brahmani Duck, plovers, pintails and other species as they are prone to carry the H5NI strain of avian influenza, he added.