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Delhi zoo, Govt. making efforts to keep bird flu at bay

Strict vigil at Delhi Zoo against bird flu

The National Zoological Park in Delhi is fully vigilant to prevent any further spread of bird flu cases in the zoo located on Mathura Road near the Purana Qila.

The recent spate of Avian Flu outbreak has so far affected several States in India, including Delhi. The other affetcted state are — Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand and Chhattisgarh.

Going by the past instances of the disease outbreak in 2016, no leniency can be afforded this time around.

When contacted, the Director of the National Zoological Park, Ramesh Kumar Pandey, said that all standard operating procedures (SOPs) have been meticulously put into place after the first case was reported in India.

He said, "Seven serological samples of droppings of birds collected from four different points in the zoo were sent for testing to the Bhopal-based National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) on February 3."

Even the Sanjay Lake in East Delhi had reported a few positive cases of bird flu. But overall, there is no serious threat as of now, according to the officials.

"We are using disinfectants like sodium hypochlorite which is a very good oxidative disinfectant," informed Pandey.

The Delhi zoo has formed various teams to monitor the health of all the birds and animals in order to keep a check on the situation. Pandey also said that a strict surveillance protocol is being adhered to by the various teams formed to check and contain Avian Flu.

These teams are also ensuring that the enclosures of birds and animals are properly and regularly sanitised. The infection spreads primarily through nasal drops and respiratory track. "We are keeping an eye on both poultry and non-poultry birds in the zoo. Any bird which is unwell is immediately taken care of by the team," said Pandey.

In addition to this, authorities in the Delhi zoo are also spraying disinfectants like Virkon and lime powder twice a day to contain the spread of the viral influenza.

A committee comprising officials of the animal husbandry and veterinary departments of the Delhi government is also synchronising its efforts with the animal rights activists to deal with the prevailing bird flu situation effectively.

This committee, with the help of Delhi Police, is keeping a strict vigil on the 'Murga Mandi', Asia's largest chicken market located in Ghazipur on the outskirts of the national capital.

It has been reported by the committee that at the Murga Mandi in Ghazipur, proper hygiene measures are not being followed by the poultry bird dealers. At the mandi, animal skins lie scattered and blood strains of animals are discharged in the sewage without any treatment. These wet markets are potential sources of spreading secondary infections.