Rajasthan wildlife and animal husbandry departments have sounded a bird flu alert in the state after it was found that the viral infection killed crows in Jhalawar and some other districts.

“Bird flu advisories have been issued asking wildlife department officials and staff to keep a tab on the death of birds. They have been told to collect the samples of the dead birds and dispose of their carcasses properly to check the spread of the infection,” chief wildlife warden Mohanlal Meena said on Saturday.

“After bird flu was detected in Jhalawar and crow deaths were reported from other districts, we have instructed all wildlife officials to inspect wetlands since a large number of migratory birds have arrived in the state due to winter season.”

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Bird flu was confirmed in nearly 50 dead crows in Jhalawar a couple of days ago after their samples were tested at the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal, officials said.

Nearly 300 crow deaths have been reported from Kota, Baran, Jodhpur and other districts. Fifty peacocks have been found dead in Nagaur district and 60 hens in Panwar area of Jhalawar. Samples have been sent for tests.

Champalal Meena, joint director of the animal husbandry department in Kota, said, “The department’s director has sent instructions and advisories on bird flu after crow deaths in Jhalawar due to the viral infection.”

Staff has been asked to keep vigil on bird deaths and send carcasses to veterinary laboratories for ascertaining the cause of death, he said. “Also, instructions have been given for disposal of carcasses to prevent the spread of bird flu.”

Chief wildlife warden Meena said, “Since bird flu is contagious to humans, instructions have been given for monitoring in all tiger reserves, wildlife sanctuaries and territorial forests.”

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