Ascending Incidence of HPAI in Migratory Birds and Poultry in India


According to a January 4th report on ProMed Mail the Conservator for Wildlife in the Pong wetlands in Himachal Pradesh (State reported on the death of over 1,800 bar-headed geese with sporadic mortality in teals, terns and other species. The Pong wetlands are home to over 100,000 birds of 114 species. Avian influenza is suspected but laboratory investigations are in progress.

Bar-headed Goose


In April 2005 an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza occurred in geese on Qinghai Lake in Western China.  Bar-headed geese migrate along the Central Asian Flyway from China to India.


In a related outbreak, the State governments of Rajasthan, Madhya, Kerala and Himalchal have reported avian influenza in free-living birds and in commercial poultry in high density ‘poultry belts.’ These are characterized by ineffective or non-existent biosecurity with farms in close proximity served by common feed mills. The widespread distribution of HPAI has resulted in consumer rejection of birds in wet markets, reducing unit revenue in the face of escalating feed prices. Fear of HPAI has impacted the share prices of chicken producers including Venky’s that fell sharply during the first week of January.

Depletion following HPAI