Big Avian Scare : U.P. remains on its toes to keep Bird Flu in check

Lucknow/ Kanpur : As Bird Flu tightens its grip over several states, even Uttar Pradesh has not been able to remain unscathed. As cases continue to tumble out, not just the Kanpur Zoo but even the Nawab Wajid Ali Shah Zoological Garden in Lucknow has tightened its arrangements to keep a close watch on the virus. 

The Uttar Pradesh’s Animal Husbandry Department has undertaken all precautionary measures at poultry farms and zoos to keep a check on avian influenza. In a bid to step up its guard against the virus, regular cleanliness and sanitization is being carried out at the Lucknow Nawab Wajid Ali Shah Zoological Garden. The zoo authorities have also regulated the food that is being provided to the inmates of the zoo. Quantity of vitamins, minerals and immunity boosters has been increased in the diet. As of now no deaths have been reported in Lucknow due to avian influenza.

In the twin city of Kanpur, the Kanpur zoo has been shut down until further notice and the district administration is on high alert. The warning has come at a time when the bird flu was confirmed with wild chickens found dead in the zoo days ago.

In what might sound a very painful development, the zoo ordered killing of the birds in all enclosures. An area up to one kilometer from the zoo has been declared a containment zone. Sale of meat is banned within a radius of 10 kilometres.

Initially the orders were to keep the zoo shut for 15 days, but now it has been closed till next orders. A team of the health department is closely monitoring the developments inside.  Chickens and parrots were killed first. Later ducks and other infected birds were culled. If zoo officials who have been quoted are to be believed, the move is rather unfortunate.

First Bird flu confirmations came among dead chickens. In other parts of the state reports are coming in of  crows found dead in Sonbhadra, Barabanki, Ayodhya and Jhansi. Samples are in Bhopal for investigation.

As Birdflu hits headlines, the UP government has issued guidelines, banning use of chicken brought for consumption for animals in zoos. The  beat and soil of birds dwellings are being sent from different places for investigation.

Poultry and eggs will no longer be transported in open vehicles. Markets selling poultry must be closed once a week.

All District magistrates have been instructed poultry products from infected states should not come within the boundary of Uttar Pradesh.

Several states including Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Gujarat have reported cases of Avian influenza.

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