Biome Environmental Trust has been involved in multiple projects in and around the lake ecosystem and has come across cases of bird kills at the lakes. We wanted to understand how one should respond to such incidents and in this context, we approached Dr. Shankar who is a senior Veterinary doctor in Bangalore. He is associated with Institute of Animal Health and Veterinary Biologicals (IAHV), Hebbal, Bangalore.
From our interaction with Dr. Shankar on 2ndNovember 2018, we gathered the following:
1. A dead bird should be taken to labs for autopsy within 16 hours after its death. However, if the dead bird is stored in Ice soon after its death, one will have about 48 hours to take it to autopsy.
2. He mentioned that a bird kill can happen due to many reasons and some of them are
a. Death due to Starvation
b. Death due to exposure to polluted/contaminated water (Chemical or sewage exposure)
c. Old age
3. He mentioned that when birds die in many numbers (say above 5) at the same time, that is when it requires them to conduct various tests to understand the cause of death. When the bird is taken to IAHV, an autopsy is conducted. If the cause of death is not easily detectable by an autopsy, then bacteriological, toxicological and viral tests are conducted. If certain tests cannot be conducted in their lab, then they refer the concerned party to private labs where the tests can be conducted. The cost of an autopsy and Bacteriological/Toxicological/Viral tests at IAHV are Rs. 25 and Rs. 100 respectively.
4. During initial observation and testing, if they detect bird flu, then all the birds in that region (a few kilometers from the epicenter) is culled and the epicenter is isolated.
5. He also mentioned that there are no statistics available on the number of incidents of bird kill.
Dr. Shankar B P- 9844287557
Biome Environmental Trust