H5N8: Areas around zoo put on high alert

Days after the Mysuru Zoo was closed following the outbreak of Avian Influenza (H5N8) leading to the death of more than six birds, the Department of Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Services (DAH&VS) has issued an alert in surrounding areas of the zoo and has asked the residents to be vigilant and report any unnatural deaths and behaviours of domestic birds.

At a KDP meeting held at the Zilla Panchayat on Wednesday, Deputy Director, DAH&VS, Mysuru, Dr P M Prasad Murthy said that an area of 10-km radius of the zoo was put on alert and the owners of poultry farms and domestic animals were asked to be vigilant.

“The department has issued an order to collect the samples from poultry farms as well as from the houses where chickens and ducks are raised. The samples are being sent to the lab in Bengaluru and so far, H5N8 is not detected in any birds outside the Zoo,” Dr Murthy said.

He urged people to report any sort of unnatural behaviour and death of birds to the department.

Speaking on the distribution of fodder in the district, Dr Murthy said that there wasn’t sufficient fodder with the department as to meet the demands of all the farmers. So far, he said, 150 tonnes of fodder was distributed and the remaining will be distributed in a phased manner.

When he was questioned by the ZP Social Welfare Committee president Beerihundi Basavanna as to why fodder was not being distributed continuously, Dr Murthy said the stock of 300 tonne was not adequate to meet the demands hence the department was distributing the fodder to farmers who were in need. “Considering the demand, even 3000 tonne of fodder wouldn’t be sufficient if supplied to all the farmers,” he said.

Goshala to be opened

In what may come as a relief to cattle owners, Dr Murthy said that the department will open Goshalas in the district with better amenities. The Goshalas, he said would start functioning from March this year. “A proposal to open Goshalas would be submitted to the ZP committee. Once we get the approval, the works on the construction would begin,” he said.

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