Saturday, December 3, 2011

Jharkhand-forest department today declared avian virus H5N1 as the culprit in crow deaths

No clear picture on crow deaths

Ranchi, Dec. 3: The state animal husbandry department may still not be sure why crows are dying en masse in Jharkhand, but the forest department today declared avian virus H5N1 as the culprit.
The government is yet to officially release the findings of a three-member team from Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) in Bareilly, which visited Jamshedpur in third week of November after crow deaths rocked the city.
However, the forest department today procured a copy of the findings from the Centre, which mentions H5N1 as the killer.
Speaking to The Telegraph, chief conservator of forests (wildlife) A.K. Gupta said the virus was prevalent in southeast Asia.
“It is a cause of concern, more so because this being a season of migratory birds, the virus may cross transmit to other species too,” he said.
But the report does not provide answers to many questions such as why only crows are dying, the genesis of the disease, and why it struck Jamshedpur first.
Meanwhile, Dhalbum divisional forest officer Sanjiv Kumar said there had been no reports of unnatural poultry deaths in the last three to four months.
If the crows died after eating infected poultry, deaths should have been restricted to Jamshedpur only as crows travel short distances. However, Deoghar also witnessed crow deaths today and we have reports from Giridih too,” said Kumar.
A dozen crow deaths was reported this morning from Kanke. Director of the animal husbandry department A.G. Bandyopadhyay said they had safely disposed of the bodies.

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