After confirmation of Avian Flu (H5NI) among dead migratory birds in the Pong Wetland in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh the district administration has become alert.

The report of samples of the dead birds sent to the National Institute of High Security Animal Disease (NIHSAID) Bhopal has confirmed the death of birds due to the Avian Flu(H5N1) , after which the Kangra district administration has banned sale of chicken, eggs and fish in Dehra, Jawali, Indora and Fatehpur sub divisions.

The district administration has already banned fishing in the area and one kilometer area near the Wetland has been declared as Red Zone to stop spread of the flu.

 Chief Conservator of Forests (Wild Life) Himachal Pradesh has also directed all Divisional Forest Officers (DFOs) to keep an eye on this situation in their areas and report any such incident immediately to the concerned authorities, besides carrying a survey.

The Pong Wetland is very famous for migratory birds as lakhs of birds from as far as Russia, Siberia, China, Tibet and several countries from the Central Asia, flock to the Wetland in search of food as the Wetland is replete with  fish and other aquatic animals. As per the data of Wild Life Department till December 16 nearly 56000 birds were counted; their number swells to more than a lakh every year.

The death of migratory birds came to light a few days back when a large number of birds were found dead near the Wetland. The Wild Life Department had immediately swung into action and sent their samples to Bhopal.

DFO Wild Life Hamirpur Rahul Rahane, under whose jurisdiction the Pong Wetland falls has been camping at the site and keeping a close watch on the situation.

Rahane said, “The report from NIHSAID Bhopal has confirmed the Avian Flu (H5N1) as the cause of the death of migratory birds; till now 2300 migratory birds have been found dead and we are burying and burning the dead birds, besides keeping a close watch on the situation”.  

Though people living in the surrounding areas of the Wetland have become a bit scared in view of the COVID-19 pandemic but as per experts the Avian Flu virus normally do not infects humans.

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