New Delhi: The district administration in Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra has banned the sale and purchase of chicken, eggs, and other poultry items owing to the bird flu scare. “Slaughtering, sale, purchase, and export of any poultry, birds, fish of any breed, and their related products, including eggs, meat, chicken, etc is strictly prohibited in Fatehpur, Dehra, Jawali and Indora subdivisions of the district”, an order issued by Kangra DM Rakesh Prajapati read.Also Read - Bird Flu Explained: Symptoms, Risk Factors And More by Dr. Ankita Baidya Manipal Hospitals

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. Prajapati also banned the movement of locals and tourists within a kilometre radius of Pong Dam. Also Read - Maharashtra Bird Flu Scare: After Thane, Samples In Palghar Found Positive For Avian Influenza

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Notably, 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.

Over 1,700 Birds Dead in Himachal Sanctuary

In Himachal’s Pong Dam Lake wildlife sanctuary, wildlife staff first reported the sudden death of four bar-headed geese and one common teal in the Fatehpur area last Monday.

The next day, over four hundred migratory waterfowl were found dead in Majhar, Bathari, Sihal, Jagnoli, Chatta, Dhameta and Kuthera areas in the wildlife ranges of Dhameta and Nagrota. Subsequently, hundreds of more birds were found dead each day, totaling 1,773 till Sunday.

90 per cent of the dead birds were bar-headed geese, the most common migratory species at the lake who arrive here from Central Asia, Russia, Mongolia and other regions in winters after crossing the Himalayan ranges.

States Sound Alert 

Apart from Himachal Pradesh, bird flu alert has also been sounded in states like Rajasthan, Kerala, and Madhya Pradesh. In Rajasthan, the Animal Husbandry Department said that over 425 deaths of crows, herons and other birds have been reported in the state so far. “Deaths of over 425 birds, mostly crows, have been reported in parts of the state so far. Bird flu has been confirmed only in Jhalawar. Report of other deaths is yet to come,” the department said.

Besides, some parts of Kerala too reported the avian influenza outbreak, authorities have ordered the culling of ducks, hens and other domestic birds within one km radius of the affected areas in Kottayam and Alappuzha districts. Officials said some 40,000 birds will have to be culled to check the spread of the H5N8 virus. A farm in Kerala’s Kottayam saw deaths of around 1,500 ducks due to bird flu recently.