Friday, January 22, 2021

Bird flu alert: Crow deaths spread fear in Jharkhand’s West Singhbhum

Jamshedpur, Jan 12: Amid the bird flu scare, as many as 16 crows were found dead at West Singhbhum on Tuesday. According to information, crows were found dead at Jagannathpur and Chaibasa.  A team of Animal Husbandry rushed to the spots to collect the samples of dead crows for examination.

“ Deaths of crows and other birds are being reported in East Singhbhum and West Singhbhum districts. Though we do not have confirmed bird flu cases in any of our neighbouring states like West Bengal, Odisha and Bihar, we do not want to take chances and are taking preventive measures.  Effort should be made to send the sample of the dead bird to the virology lab for a confirmatory test,” said an official.

Meanwhile, SK Sinha District Animal Husbandry officer there is no case of bird flu in the yet in East Singhbhum and asked officials to keep a close watch on poultry birds coming in from neighbouring states to prevent any infection. Rapid response teams have been set up to monitor potential hotspots.

He also instructed officials to maintain a strict vigil on birds at major bird sites, especially poultry markets, water bodies, zoos and other potential hotspots.

Meanwhile, the poultry market in the city is bracing for major losses as demand for chicken has begun to fall after the government on Wednesday confirmed bird flu cases in the capital. As a consequence, mutton prices have spiked.

The mutton prices have gone up as the majority of the people who used to prefer chickens are switching over to mutton in fear of getting contacted with the bird flu, the initial symptom of which has already started showing off here in the steel city.

Mutton was sold maximum at Rs 750 a kg, but on Monday the prices shot up to Rs 800 and Rs 850 a kg at some places.

“I used to bring dressed chicken by paying Rs 200 a kg.  But today despite the dressed chicken being available at Rs 170 a kg, I preferred to take mutton though in small quantities.  Crows and other birds, including poultry chickens are dying, who will want to get infected by the bird flu,” said a resident of Jugsalai.

The mutton sellers warned of further hike in the prices of mutton given the situation arising out of the fear due to the bird flu.

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