LAHORE – Around 15 peacocks have been expired at the Safari Park during the last seven days due to bird flu virus, authorities said on Tuesday.

The price of single peacock starts from Rs 6,000 and goes up to Rs 20,000. Safari Park, also called Woodland Wildlife Park, is located on Raiwind Road. A couple of peacocks died on Tuesday while the Safari Park Director Yousuf Paul disclosed that total 15 peacocks had been died till filing of this report. He said the disease was a common among birds but this time it was diagnosed among hens and chickens of poultry forms located in surrounding areas of the Safari Park. He said the workers in poultry farms were unaware about the consequences of the dangers of H5N1 virus. Mr Yousuf further said necessary measures were being taken to ensure safety of the workers associated to the Park.

Meanwhile, Jinnah Hospital Chief Executive and Principal Allama Iqbal Medical College Dr Javed Akram said the H5N1 bird flu virus is found in small flocks of chickens and peacocks and other birds in Pakistan. He said it travels by the transportation of birds and the eggs in dirty vehicles were a grave threat of spreading poultry diseases, including H5N1 bird flu.

Dr Javed Akram further complained that there were no sufficient arrangements in poultry farms to keep healthy birds away from the sick ones. To a query regarding Safari Park, he said other birds caged with deceased peacocks should be immediately shifted to safe place and treated properly. “If the infection has crossed the limits then injected birds should be sacrificed and dumped away from the Zoo area,” he added. Dr Javed Akram also advised the Zoo administration to adopt safety measures for the rest of the birds and the workers as well. He said special protective masks should be provided to the workers and they should also be advised to wash hands each time they deal with the birds.

The H5N1 bird flu virus was fist found in domestic poultry in Rawalpindi where some 18 birds died resultantly the rest of the birds were slaughtered. Similarly, Food, Agriculture and Livestock Ministry spokesman said the virus had also been detected in a flock of peacocks in Mansehra in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.