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Bird flu: Migratory birds near Sukhna Lake under watch

“We are keeping a watch on the migratory birds which annually come at Sukhna Lake,” UT conservator of forests-cum-chief wildlife warden Santosh Kumar said.

Migratory birds including Pochard, Coot, Pintail, Mallard come from Siberia, China and other parts of the world during November and December and they stay till March, he said. However, Kumar said so far, there was no mortality found in the migratory birds.

UT Chandigarh animal husbandry department joint director Lovelesh Kant Gupta, meanwhile, said there was no need to panic as there was no outbreak of bird flu in the city.

“There is a suspicion of bird flu...it is not an outbreak. Had there been an outbreak, then migratory birds would also have died,” he said.

Union Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Dairying had on Saturday notified bird flu in geese under the Control of Infectious and Contagious Diseases in Animals Act, 2009, Gupta said.

“Culling of geese was done as part of preventive measures,” he added.

After a sample of geese from the Sukhna lake tested positive for bird flu, authorities on Thursday culled a total of 110 geese on the island in the middle of the lake, Kumar said.

The killings were carried out as a precautionary measure to prevent any outbreak of bird flu in the city and adjoining areas.

Besides, the authorities also restricted the movement of public around the Sukhna Lake, a famous tourist spot here, and have sounded alert in Punjab and Haryana in this regard.

With authorities keeping surveillance in and around the lake, UT Chandigarh authorities have said the entire lake will remain out of bounds for people till further orders.
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