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Bird flu threat ruled out: Karnataka Forest Department,,

Ruling out the threat of bird flu in the famous Ranganathittu bird sanctuary near Srirangapatna, about 100 km from Bangalore, Karnataka Forest Department today said that it was totally geared up to meet the threat from migratory birds. //

The Department has taken precautionary measures against bird flu as it is generally flocked by migratory birds from several countries including Central and Northern China, Russia, Mongolia, Europe and South Africa during the migratory season from March to November.

A K Verma, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) and Chief Wildlife Warden said that there is no threat of bird flu in the Ranganathittu bird sanctuary as it consists of local migratory birds and there is no question of any birds coming in from outside.

"The forest department is, however, totally geared up to meet the threat of bird flu from migratory birds like the bar-headed geese from China which are likely to arrive in the state in a fortnight," he said.

The issue will be discussed in detail during a special session in the seminar on Bird Ecology and Conservation being held here on November 12 and "an action plan will chalked out," Verma said.

As per instructions issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, "a close check is already being kept on our parks and sanctuaries and a training programme for veterinary doctors is already on," he said.

Also, a massive awareness programme for people living in villages surrounding the tanks, the general public, the NGOs working on bird conservation, hatcheries, veterinary hospitals and the media will be taken up, Verma said.

Sanctuary Assistant Conservator of Forests Prasanna Kumar added that no case of bird flu had been reported so far in the sanctuary and this season had been completely safe.

There was fear that bird flu might hit India as ducks and waders were expected to migrate to the country f
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