Pigeon deaths sparks bird flu rumours

Over 100 birds reported dead in Keating Road

By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: The mysterious deaths of over one hundred pigeons in Keating Road area of the city has raised fresh fears of bird flu among residents of the city.

State Veterinary officials rushed to the spot and collected samples of the birds which had died on Thursday.

Residents of Keating Road claimed that every day around 5-7 pigeons are dying in the area with the total number of dead birds now crossing 100.

When contacted, East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner, Sanjay Goyal, said that Veterinary officials have rushed to the spot to assess the situation and all precautionary measures are being taken.

“We are keeping a close watch on the situation,” Goyal asserted.

The samples are being sent to the Assam-based Regional Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (RRDL) on Friday for detailed testing, he informed.

Veterinary officials have, meanwhile, urged the families rearing pigeons not to touch the dead birds with bare hands and to dispose them properly.

Meanwhile, Principal Secretary Animal Husbandry and Veterinary, P Naik, while confirming the reports of pigeon deaths, said that the department was yet to confirm the numbers of dead pigeons.

The pigeon deaths comes in the wake of the death of over 2,000 poultry in a government-run farm in East Garo Hills in January, which was later confirmed to be due to the avian flu.

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