280 more migratory birds found dead in HP

Two hundred eighty more migratory waterbirds of various species were found dead at the Pong Dam Lake Wildlife Sanctuary in Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra district on Tuesday, amid cases of avian influenza in the state.

With this, the death toll of migratory birds in the hill state has risen to 4,637 with some samples taken from the lake area testing positive for the flu last week.

Of the newly found carcasses, 150 were old mortalities. These were reported from the Dehra wildlife beat and the carcasses were retrieved on Tuesday from swampy areas of the lake, Chief Wildlife Warden Archana Sharma said.

The situation in the Dhameta range of the sanctuary has improved considerably with only two birds being reported dead there on Tuesday, she said.

The chief wildlife warden said that wildlife officials have requested the fisheries department to provide boats in order to retrieve the carcasses and deal with the outbreak.

Officials of the state wildlife wing also attended a virtual meeting of the union ministry of environment, forests and climate change to discuss steps for the prevention of the outbreak, she said.

Deaths of crows and some other birds have been reported in other parts of the state, but no infection among domestic poultry birds has been reported so far, officials said.

However, in Solan district, a large number of dead poultry birds were found dumped on roadsides on several days during the past week.

On Monday, the state government banned the import of all poultry products from other states for a week.

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