SHILLONG, Feb 10 � Taking no chances, the Veterinary department here today sent blood samples of dead pigeons which were found in Keating Road locality in the State capital here over the past few days.
The Veterinary department said that the blood samples were sent to the Regional Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (RR&DL) based in Assam and the results of the samples would be received soon. However, the unnatural death of the pigeons has sparked speculation about the outbreak of bird flu.
The district authorities, meanwhile, said that no restriction on consumption of poultry products has been imposed in the district without knowing the exact cause of the avians� death.
But a general alert has been sounded along a radius of seven kilometres where the birds were found dead and strict surveillance is being maintained.
The district rapid response team has been asked to move in if outbreak of bird flu is confirmed by the lab.
�We have sent the blood samples to RR&DL and we are awaiting the results of the report and only then we would take a decision,� Prashant Naik, principal secretary, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary, said.
In East Garo Hills, outbreak of bird flu led to authorities culling about 6,538 birds. Besides, 9,157 eggs and more than 800 kg of feeds were destroyed in 21 villages in East Garo Hills earlier this month.
PTI adds: Eighteen days after culling of bird-flu affected poultry ended in Meghalaya�s East Garo Hills, residents of Keating Road here and government officials were in a tizzy after more than 100 pigeons died in the past one week.
State Veterinary officials rushed to the spot yesterday to pick up the dead birds for sampling and to make aware the residents of possible bird-flu virus afflicting the birds. �We have rushed veterinary doctors to Keatinge Road locality to initiate remedial measures and to take samples of the dead birds for testing,� State Veterinary Director L Lyngwa said.