Avian Influenza suspected of killing 53 birds in Gujarat

53 birds were found dead in the Junagarh district in Gujarat. The forest and wildlife officials were alerted and they began looking into their cause-of-death to be bird flu.

It is confirmed that Himachal Pradesh, Kerala and Rajasthan are affected by the bird flu leading to the demise of hundreds of birds. Other states, including Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand are on high alert.


Migratory birds during the winter are common as they fly hundreds and thousands of kilometres in search for the best habitats.

Till now, Rajasthan has had more than 170 deaths of birds. In Himachal Pradesh, approximately 1,800 migratory birds who are mainly bar-headed geese have been found dead in the Pong Dam Lake sanctuary. Overall, there have been more than 2,300 deaths in only the Himachal Pradesh, confirmed by Upasana Patiyal, chief conservator of forests, Dharamshala. Kerala’s minister for forests, wildlife and animal husbandry, K Raju said that the bird flu was reported in Kottayam and Alappuzha and has caused the death of 12,000 ducks.

Avian Influenza is highly infectious and causes severe respiratory disease in birds. The H5N1 influenza virus can occasionally infect humans.

Officials have declared that around 40,000 birds will have to be culled to check and stop the spread of the H5N1 virus. The state government of Himachal Pradesh banned the sale, purchase and slaughter of poultry in Fatehpur, Dehra, Jawali and Indora sub-divisions of Kanga district, as a precautionary measure. Poultry and fish have stopped being exported.

Lastly, the animal husbandry department has had to effectively create response teams to combat the spread of the disease. In Kerala, the authorities have ordered the culling of ducks, hens and other domestic birds within a 1-kilometre radius of affected areas in Kottayam and Alappuzha districts.