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Orissa to send experts to bird flu-hit Bengal


Bhubaneswar : Orissa will send about 30 veterinary doctors to neighbouring West Bengal to assist officials in checking bird flu that has spread to at least seven districts in that state.

“At least 10 doctors will go to West Bengal on Wednesday and 20 more in two phases later,” Orissa’s Director of Animal Husbandry Bishnupada Sethi told IANS Tuesday.

“These doctors will stay in that state till the bird flu spread is checked,” Sethi said.

A team of scientists from the Bombay Natural History Society, which visited the Chilika Lake in Orissa to monitor migratory birds, also went to West Bengal, an official of the Chilika Development Authority said.

This year at least 900,000 birds, mostly migratory, have visited the Chilika, the largest lagoon along the east coast of India, some 100 km from here.

The state government has alerted officials in all its 30 districts in view of the bird flu spread in the neighbouring state although there was no report of any avian influenza case in Orissa.

Wildlife officials at the Chilika Lake, the Bhitarkanika National Park and the Nandankanan Park have also been alerted as millions of migratory birds have thronged the state’s water bodies this winter.

“We have collected blood samples of sick birds from these places and sent them to the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory in Bhopal and are awaiting their reports,” a wildlife official said.