Surveillance For Avian Influenza Started In Kashmir

SRINAGAR- 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 today visited Hokersar wetland to set in motion a sustained surveillance and Monitoring for Bird Flu (Avian Influenza) here.

The team from IAH&BP, Zakura headed by Dr Gowhar Nabi Gora (Technical Officer/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.

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

The Wildlife Warden for wetlands, Ifshan Dewan of Hokersar Wetland informed the team that almost 1.5 Lakh birds of different species are presently stationed at Hokersar for breeding as well as winter nesting.

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

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