Sambhar mystery: Avian botulism likely behind bird deaths
The post-mortem report said: “There were bruises on the breast muscle (of the birds) and (their) lungs were congested.”Updated: Nov 16, 2019 03:21 IST
Post-mortem of two bird carcasses by a Bikaner-based research organisation has found avian botulism to be the possible cause for the death over 8,000 birds in India’s largest inland salt lake in Rajasthan Sambhar, officials said on Friday.
A team from College of Veterinary and Animal Science, Bikaner, visited the lake site on Thursday and gave its report on Friday. HT has a copy of this report.
The post-mortem report said: “There were bruises on the breast muscle (of the birds) and (their) lungs were congested.”
The report on clinical signs exhibited by the affected birds pointed at dullness, depression, anorexia, flaccid paralysis in legs and wings, and neck touching the ground. “The birds were unable to walk, swim or take flight,” the clinical report said, adding that there was no rise in body temperature, no nasal discharge and no respiratory distress.
Based on these reports, the experts from the Bikaner college concluded that “the most probable diagnosis is avian botulism”.
A disease investigation team, including veterinary pathologist Dr Rohitash Dadhich, veterinary microbiologist Dr Sandeep Kumar Sharma, veterinary medicine assistant professor Dr Madan Mohan Mali, visited Sambhar on Thursday to investigate the cause of mass mortality of migratory birds and to give an advisory for the prevention and containment of mortalities.
“The sick birds were examined for their clinical symptoms and samples (nasal and oral swabs) were collected for analysis in the laboratory,” the report said.
A government statement said the death toll of the birds rose to 8,065 with carcasses of 3,265 birds buried on Friday and 102 rescued.
Meanwhile, the Rajasthan high court on Friday asked all parties to submit laboratory reports by November 20, the next day of hearing in the petition. The division bench of chief justice Indrajit Mahanty and justice Mahendra Kumar Goyal issued notices on November 13 to the state government, asking for affidavit on steps taken to prevent further death of migrating birds.