Sunday, June 11

MECCNAR Confirms Test Results on Birds of Suspected Avian Influenza Remains Negative

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The Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources (MECCNAR) have disclosed that so far laboratory test results obtained from dying birds along the coastal belt of the country remain negative.

MECCNAR  made a statement on Friday, following the reported death of more than eighty (80) birds spotted at Tanji Birds Reserve, Kartong beach site among other areas.

“A National Taskforce by our Department of Parks and Wildlife Management and Department of Livestock Services (DLS) has begun conducting tests on birds following suspected outbreaks of Avian Influenza (bird flu) in and around Tanji Bird Reserve and Kartong. Mortality is recorded around Kotu Creek, Tanji Bird Reserve, and Kartong, also there is no reported case reported anywhere around the wetlands and in the region,” MECCNAR said in its statement made available.

The statement noted that the tests conducted so far come out negative, and nonetheless, the team is still carrying out more detailed forensic examinations and continuing analysis in the labs of the Department of Livestock s Services while considering sending some samples abroad for more forestry opinion.

MECCNAR urged the general public to avoid touching the affected birds with their bare hands and bury anyone found immediately, adding that the ministry is keenly following the development and will update the general public accordingly.

Earlier, Momodou Lamin Gassama, Director of the Parks and Wildlife Department stated that his office has yet to confirm reports of an outbreak of Avian Influenza that is claiming the lives of birds along the coastal belt of the country.

On Thursday, he told The Voice that all  the online information is mere speculation but there’s no proof yet to confirm an outbreak of Avian flu his office is in charge

 Collins James Cross, Field Ornithologist, Kartong Birds Observatory (KBO) whose organization made the discovery and brought the issue to the fore of the public insisted that all the signs and symptoms found on the dead birds are signs of Avian Influenza.

 The senior Omithrologist confirmed that though Kartong Birds Observatory (KBO) has not conducted any scientific or laboratory assessment regarding the deaths of the birds along the beaches and at Tanji Birds Reserves experiences show that the birds are dying from Avian Influenza.

He noted that his organization has been monitoring the conditions of birds for the past two years and is optimistic that the disease is taking a toll on the birds in the country.

 “Recently,  KBO researcher Kebba Sosseh surveyed a serious outbreak of Avian Influenza at Tanji Bird Reserve. So far, it has killed at least 66 terns and gulls. A further 26 birds were found dying. At Kartong, 6 birds were found dying on the beach today,” Kartong Birds Observatory (KBO) reported on its Facebook triggering the situation.