A day after one of the six samples of the domesticated geese at the Sukhna Lake tested positive for avian flu, the administration began the culling of 120 geese at the Lake here on Thursday evening. The lake is next to the Haryana Raj Bhawan and close to the Rock Garden and the building of the Punjab and Haryana high court.
The orders for culling came from the union government, following which a daylong meeting was held between officials of various departments to details on execution of the culling.
The culling began at around 5 pm at the the island on the lake, after the area was cordoned off. A team of 30, comprising officials from the UT animal husbandry department, the wildlife department, the Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory Jalandhar and veterinary experts from Ludhiana carried out the task of culling. Chandigarh municipal corporation provided the butchers.
Prior to the culling, the staff underwent medical examination to rule out any kind of infection.
Wildlife chief warden Santosh Kumar said, “Culling of birds was started following the orders of the union government. There is no culling of migratory birds as they have not shown any signs of mortality. The migratory birds may be the potential carrier of the virus, but till now they have not been affected by the flu.”
Sukhna Lake wears deserted look
A visit to the Sukhna Lake revealed how the tourist hub, which is usually abuzz with activity, wore a deserted look. On Thursday, four geese were found dead near the island. Tourists, unaware of the the bird flu scare, coming to the lake were being turned away by the cops.
At around 3pm, the area was completely cordoned off and vehicles were not allowed within 2-kilometer radius of the lake. Even the parking lot was vacated with autos and other vehicles removed.
Officiating deputy commissioner-cum-MC commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh said the 30-member culling team was medical examined at the the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16. The deputy commissioners of Panchkula and SAS Nagar had also been alerted and were told to inform the UT animal husbandry in case of any bird death at any of the poultry facilities in their jurisdiction.
Over the past fortnight, at least 35 geese have died but samples of only six birds were sent to Bhopal-based National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) to ascertain the exact cause of death and the presence of H5N1 virus in one goose was confirmed.
SDM (Central) Prince Dhawan, appointed as the nodal officer, carried out the surveillance.
Recently, the Kerala government had also culled more than 2 lakh ducks and poultry after the virus was detected.
• At around 3pm, the area around the was Sukhna Lake was completely cordoned off
• Vehicles were not allowed within 2-kilometer radius of the lake. Even the parking lot was vacated with autos and other vehicles removed.