Steps taken to check bird flu: Delhi government to HC

New Delhi, Oct 26 (IANS) The Delhi government on Wednesday told Delhi High Court that in the wake of bird flu surfacing in parts of the national capital, birds are being closely monitored at the local zoo.

The state government told a division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal that it has undertaken all necessary measures to deal with bird flu (avian influenza).

Noting that the government has already taken steps on the issue, the court disposed of a PIL seeking direction to provide necessary machines and medical equipment to veterinary officers to curb the menace.

The government said 13 birds were found dead at Delhi zoo, 45 in Deer Park, seven birds at Shakti Sthal — the memorial of late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi — and six at other places in Delhi.

It said that as a matter of caution, Delhi zoo was on October 18 closed for public and vehicular movement. The zoo is being inspected daily for possible bird flu symptoms in the birds, and samples from various areas are being tested daily.

The Delhi government also said that rapid response teams are also closely monitoring the birds at the zoo. The teams are visiting the affected and susceptible sites, collecting samples and disposing of the dead birds.

“All the departments concerned have been sensitised about the issue and told to take all precautionary measures in their respective jurisdictions, especially in the forests, parks, ponds and other natural habitats of the birds,” the document submitted by the government in the court stated.

Civic bodies have also been directed to take care of sanitation near the wet poultry market, especially areas like Okhla, Walled City and around Seelampur, said the document.

The PIL, filed by a Delhi resident Salek Chand Jain through advocate Anurag Dubey, said the government has failed to provide highest standards of veterinary care to all the animals kept in the zoo, and due to lack of adequate medical staff, animal keepers, and non-availability of medical equipment and machinery to diagnose the disease, the death rate is high in Delhi zoo.

–IANS

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