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LAHORE: Zoo Director Hassan Ali Sukhera dewormed vultures at Changa Manga breeding farm to avert [possible] outbreak of Newcastle disease.

Mr Ali said the vulture breeding farm established in 2007 was a joint venture of World Wide Fund for Nature and Punjab Wildlife Department.

He said the farm was set up when vultures rapidly died back in 90’s owing to a medicine - diclofenac. He said in the last three years six chicks were born at the breeding centre, which was a success. There are 21 vultures housed at the farm.

The director said deworming of 21 oriental white-backed vultures was carried out by the veterinarians of Lahore Zoo, Punjab Wildlife & Parks Department and University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences. These vultures were housed at a Gyps Vulture Breeding Centre, Changa Manga.

To a question about measures taken by the zoo to counter the possible attack of Newcastle disease on birds, the director said: “[The Newcastle] is a viral disease which causes heavy mortality in birds. Therefore, the zoo has taken effective preventive measures throughout the year especially during the changing weather.

He said all birds of the zoo had been vaccinated against the disease. A booster was given to all birds to improve their immunity system. He said birds had also been dewormed against ectoparasitism.

Published in Dawn, September 11th, 2018