Around 1,700 migratory birds, most of them bar-headed geese, have been found dead under mysterious circumstances in and around Himachal Pradesh's Pong Dam lake In Kangra district, prompting the authorities to suspend tourism in the area. The sale and purchase of poultry has also been banned in some parts of the district as a precautionary measure against the possibility of a bird flu outbreak. Three states in the country have detected Avian Influenza cases in the last few days.
Rakesh Kumar Prajapati, Kangra's district magistrate, has ordered that no human or livestock be allowed to go in and around a one-kilometre radius of the reservoir till further notice. A surveillance zone with radius nine kilometres has also been established around the water body to monitor the incident.
Mr Prajapati has prohibited slaughtering, sale, purchase and export of any poultry, birds, fish of any breed and their related products, including eggs, meat, chicken, etc, in Fatehpur, Dehra, Jawali and Indora subdivisions of the district, an official order read.
Exercising his powers under Sections 34 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the official said that shops selling these products would also remain closed in these four subdivisions, news agency PTI has reported.
Bird flu is a highly infectious and severe respiratory disease in birds caused by the H5N1 influenza virus, which can occasionally infect humans as well.
On Monday, the Kerala government confirmed that cases of the H5N8 strain of Avian Influenza have been found in Alappuzha and Kottayam. Around 12,000 ducks have died in the affected areas in the last few days, while another 36,000 are likely to be culled, a state minister told NDTV.
In Rajasthan, hundreds of crows have been found dead. The virus was confirmed in dead crows in the Jhalawar district and many other cities, including Jaipur, officials said.
Cases of the influenza were also found in Madhya Pradesh.