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1,800 migratory birds found dead due to bird flu – avian influenza in Himachal Pradesh, India

Bird Flu

Bird flu virus was detected in around 50 crows whose carcasses were found in Indore in Madhya Pradesh last week, prompting authorities to issue an alert.

SAMPLES OF dead migratory water birds found at the Pong Dam Lake in Himachal Pradesh have tested positive for avian influenza or bird flu.

RT-PCR testing of samples of five dead Bar-Headed geese conducted at the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) in Bhopal found all birds positive for the H5N1 avian influenza virus, according to the report.

Around 1,800 migratory birds, most of them Bar-Headed Geese, have been found dead in the lake sanctuary so far.

“The laboratory at the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) in Bareilly had detected avian influenza in the samples of dead birds, according to information conveyed to us by the Centre Monday. We were awaiting confirmation by NIHSAD as it is the nodal body for detecting this disease,” said Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Archana Sharma. She added that the Northern Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Jalandhar has also suspected avian influenza in the bird samples.

Dr VK Gupta, joint director of the Centre for Animal Disease Research and Diagnosis (CADRAD) at IVRI Bareilly, where the preliminary testing was conducted, said the samples had tested positive for antigens associated with influenza. The samples were then sent to the laboratory in Bhopal for a confirmatory test and to identify the type and strain of the virus, he added.

Director of animal husbandry Dr Ajmer Dogra said that the department has formed a rapid response team to deal with the suspected epizootic.

Bird flu is a highly infectious and severe respiratory disease in birds caused by the H5N1 influenza virus, which can occasionally infect humans as well, although human-to-human transmission is unusual, according to the World Health Organisation.

Birds in large numbers have been dying mysteriously across the country in recent days. In neighbouring Haryana, around a lakh poultry birds are reported to have died in Barwala in the last few days, while in Rajasthan, the death of a number of crows in Jhalawar has been linked to avian influenza. Samples of some ducks in Kerala have also reportedly tested positive for the bird flu.

In Himachal’s Pong Lake wildlife sanctuary, wildlife staff first reported the sudden death of four Bar-Headed Geese and one Common Teal in Fatehpur area last Monday. The next day, over 400 migratory waterfowl were found dead in Majhar, Bathari, Sihal, Jagnoli, Chatta, Dhameta and Kuthera areas in the wildlife ranges of Dhameta and Nagrota. Subsequently, hundreds more birds were found dead each day, totaling 1,773 till Sunday, Sharma said.

She said more than 90 per cent of the dead birds were Bar-Headed Geese, the most common migratory species at the lake who arrive here from Central Asia, Russia, Mongolia and other regions in winters after crossing the Himalayan ranges. There are 8-9 other bird species whose members have been found dead. Last year, more than one lakh migratory birds had camped at the lake by late January and this year, more than 50,000 have arrived so far.

The dead birds are being disposed off as per bird-flu protocol, officials said, adding that no such deaths have been reported so far from other water bodies in the state.

Kangra DC bans slaughter, sale, purchase, export of poultry, birds, fish

The Pong reservoir and and an area of radius one kilometre around its periphery has been declared an alert zone, in which no human and domestic livestock activities are now allowed and the movement of tourists as well as local residents has been banned, according to an order issued by Kangra DC Rakesh Prajapati under the Disaster Management Act. The next 9 km after the alert zone comprise a surveillance zone, and all tourism activity in the reservoir area has been suspended.

The DC has also prohibited slaughtering, sale, purchase and export of any poultry, birds, fish of any breed and their related products including eggs, meat, chicken etc. in Fatehpur, Dehra, Jawali and Indora subdivisions of the district. He said that shops selling these products will also remain closed in these subdivisions.

Wildlife, veterinary and animal husbandry staff across the state have been put on alert and asked to immediately report the death of any bird or animal. The Gopalpur zoo in Kangra, which is situated near the Pong Lake, has been put on high alert.

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6,000 geese to be killed due to Bird Flu in Poland #BirdFlu #Poland

Bird Flu

A new outbreak of bird flu was reported in Poland on Monday, with around 6,000 geese now set to be exterminated, a regional spokesman confirmed to Reuters, adding to about half a dozen cases already detected across the country since December.

“Six thousand geese at the farm (are) set for extermination, the state veterinary inspectorate has already taken steps,” Tomasz Stube, the spokesman for the Wielkopolska region told Reuters.

The strain of the virus was a subtype of the highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu, Polish state news agency PAP reported, which can also pose a threat to human health.

Last month’s outbreak in Poland, Europe’s largest poultry producer, was preceded by an outbreak in 2017.

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Dozens of dead #Canada #geese found in #BritishColumbia, #Canada

Dead Canada geese found floating in a ditch in Pitt Meadows. (Contributed)

The disturbing sight of a flock of dead Canada geese floating in a ditch in the Lower Mainland is being investigated by the BC Conservation Officers Service.

Numerous Pitt Meadows residents called to report the dead birds floating in the water alongside Rannie Road, near Pitt Lake.

City crews will remove the carcasses of the 30 birds, which is the maximum number a hunter can possess. All had their breasts removed. There was a hunting opening on Canada geese from Feb. 10 to March 10. A nearby marsh is a known place for hunting geese.

By law, a hunter need only harvest the breast meat, said Conservation Officer Marc Plamondon, so he speculates they may have been legally killed by a hunter over a period of time, but illegally dumped.

“He took the meat, didn’t know what to do with these carcasses, and he dumped them,” is Plamondon’s theory.

It is an offence to unlawfully dump waste in the environment, and to dump carcasses beside the road because they will attract bears and other wildlife.

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50 Geese found dead in St. Lawrence River, Montreal, Canada

After 50 Canada geese were found dead floating in the St. Lawrence River outside Montreal earlier this week, veterinarians are saying they may have died from a lightning strike.

A local fisherman came across the geese near Contrecoeur, Que., Thursday and veterinarians were called in from Université de Montréal to examine the bodies.

Veterinarian Stéphane Lair said that the geese had small lesions in their hearts that indicated a possible lightning strike.

He said the level of decomposition indicates that they all died at the same time, which rules out disease or malnutrition.

Following the discovery, both the provincial and federal flora and fauna ministries were alerted.

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2,279 geese killed due to bird flu in Yunlin County, Taiwan

Bird Flu
A goose farm in southern Taiwan’s Yunlin County was found to have been contaminated by a subtype of H5 bird flu virus and 2,279 birds on the farm were culled, the 68th case of poultry farm infection this year, according to the Council of Agriculture (COA) on Sunday.
Several geese on the farm in Yunlin’s Sihu Township were confirmed as having contracted the virus, the council’s Bureau of Animal and Plant Inspection and Quarantine said in a press release.
The bureau has reminded the farm’s operators to disinfect the area following the standard operation procedure of destroying the geese.
Officials called on all poultry farm operators to keep their birds warm and in a place with good ventilation as temperatures vary considerably between daytime and nighttime.
Farm operators should also keep their poultry from coming into contact with local wild birds and migratory birds, said the bureau.
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100+ geese fall dead from sky after storm in Idaho, USA

Over 100 geese in Idaho were found dead Saturday night, and officials say the deaths are related to a severe thunderstorm that passed through the area.
The geese are believed to have fallen from the sky in unison in a “several hundred yard radius,” according to an officer with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.
“Several of the geese had their stomachs blown open and all of them were dead — none were injured,” said officer Jacob Berl.
Berl described the incident as a “freak accident.”
He told the Idaho State Journal that the ruptured stomachs and internal organs of the geese may have come from either the lightning or the impact of the crash.
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60 geese, ducks and chickens found dead with hearts removed ‘a mystery’ in Curitiba, Brazil

(Foto: Colaboração) - Mistério: 60 aves são mortas e têm coração arrancado
A mysterious situation left residents of the Bairro Alto, in Curitiba, pretty scared. 60 birds were found dead in a chicken coop.
Only two chickens were alive. The other birds between geese, ducks and chickens-had your heart ripped out. The owner of the chicken coop found all the dead animals, with precise cuts on the chest, back and neck. In addition, no blood has been identified in signs of forced entry at the location.
“I have no idea what could have happened. I’ve never seen such a thing. If they were two, three chickens, could tell that was a dog, but were a lot of birds, “said the owner of the chicken coop, Sidnei dos Santos.
Another aspect of the mysterious death is the fact that neither Saleh nor the neighbors heard any noise that would indicate the presence of any person in the place. “They always made noise when there were people around”
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Hundreds, maybe thousands of dead Snow Geese found washed up in Cambridge Bay, Canada

Carcasses of dead snow geese are seen on the shoreline, near the Nunavut community of Cambridge Bay. A resident said the birds dotted the shoreline for at least 20 kilometres.
Carcasses of dead snow geese are seen on the shoreline, near the Nunavut community of Cambridge Bay. A resident said the birds dotted the shoreline for at least 20 kilometres. (Government of Nunavut/Department of Environment)
Hundreds of dead snow geese have washed up on the shores near Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, and it may be some time before officials figure out what caused them.
The geese washed up near Long Point, west of the Nunavut community. David Ohokannoak, who lives in Cambridge Bay, drove by the carcasses on Sunday evening on his ATV.
“It was just dead geese for about, maybe 20 kilometres of shoreline,” he said. “There had to be over a thousand…there was too many to even count.
“It’s a long drive, so you can see them for that whole drive, you just see nothing but geese. Kind of sad to see.”
Ohokannoak said most of the carcasses were washed up right on the shore, while a couple were located further away from the coast.
Snow geese migrate to the Arctic in massive numbers each summer. In past years, they have been known to devastate large areas, travelling in the millions.
An official with the Government of Nunavut directed CBC to Environment and Climate Change Canada, saying because the birds are migratory, they’re the responsibility of the federal government.
In an email to CBC, a spokesperson for Environment and Climate Change Canada said only that the department is “aware of the situation,” and that officials are “following up on the incident and will consider next steps,” working with the Government of Nunavut. The official did not provide any information about what the follow up entails or what the next steps would be.
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Dozens of birds are being found dead in Beddington Park’s lake, Wallington, UK

Concerned residents have reported seeing dozens of dead birds, including ducks and geese, being pulled from a lake at their local park.
The witnesses have told how they fear they may have died as a result of the water in the lake at Beddington Park being polluted.
An unusual foam and brown scum have been pictured in the lake.
Elizabeth Kane, from Forget Me Not Wildlife Rescue, explained that she has been called several times to the park, off Church Road, in Wallington, in the last few weeks to reports of birds in distress.
She added: “It could be anything [causing the deaths], which is why I’ve called on the council and the Environment Agency to get the water tested.”
Mark Perry, 46, who visits the park regularly, said the damage being done to wildlife in the park is “horrific” and “tragic”.
He said: “I started seeing some of the birds looking a little poorly and it’s just snowballed from there.
“Although we can’t say for certain what’s going on without testing the water, we are seeing all of the tell-tale signs of botulism, which is a terrible disease for wildfowl to get.
“It can cause paralysis, so the birds can just be swimming along fine one minute and the next they can’t move so they’re drowning, which is just horrific.
“It’s tragic to watch the wildfowl suffer like that.
“The park is just this phenomenal little space but it can be so much better when it’s properly looked after – we have so many kinds of wildlife here, including kingfishers and fish, and people do let their dogs go in that lake too.”
While the cause of the water contamination is not yet clear, Mr Perry said he had seen a lot of plant cuttings “rotting” at the end of the lake closest to the iron and stone bridges.
“It’s hard to pinpoint a cause but when foliage is left in the lake rotting that can cause diseases to spread, or if a dead bird is not removed from the water, that can cause contamination too,” he added.
A spokeswoman for the Swan Sanctuary said botulism is a common problem in shallow lakes and ponds during the summer months.
She said: “When it gets hotter and the water level drops in lakes which are already not very deep, bacteria breeds as the water heats up. We have received a fair few calls lately to ponds and lakes across London because this is sadly a common natural phenomenon.
“As always, our recommendation is that the local authority digs the lake deeper.”
A spokesman for Sutton Council said: “At this stage the environmental team are investigating and will take appropriate action once they have a better understanding of the possible cause.”
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1,000 wild geese found dead, and 700,000+ birds killed due to avian flu across Iran

Bird Flu
More than 1,000 wild birds, mostly geese, have been found dead in the Mighan wetland in central Iran, the environmental protection organisation told state news agency IRNA on Monday.
IRNA said 63,000 chickens, along with 800,000 fertilised eggs and day-old chicks, were culled at a farm in Qazvin province in recent days after an outbreak of the deadly H1N8 and H1N5 strains of the disease.
That adds to the 725,000 birds destroyed since mid-November across the country following nine flu outbreaks, according to a report from the World Organisation for Animal Health released last week.
Licenses for bird shooting have been suspended due to fear of infection by migratory birds, and people have been advised not to buy game birds at local markets.
Despite a small number of human deaths in different countries over the years, the disease is mostly a risk to other birds, spreading rapidly and killing large numbers.
However, scientists have raised concerns that bird flu strains could mutate to be transmitted between humans.
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