250 migratory birds found dead in western India

Some 250 migratory birds were found dead in western India, but officials said it was unlikely the deaths were caused by bird flu.

The wild birds were found dead in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra state, 250 kilometers (185 miles) northeast of Bombay, said Anees Ahmed, the state's animal husbandry minister.

"I don't suspect bird flu," Ahmed said, adding reports of deaths among migratory birds were common this time of year. "Still, we have sent their blood samples for tests."

Meanwhile, veterinary workers began cleaning up chicken farms and disinfecting homes in and around the town of Navapur, where hundreds of thousands of chickens were culled after the first outbreak of bird flu there.

So far, there have been no reports of the disease infecting human beings. Tests on people in western India suspected of having bird flu have shown no sign of the deadly H5N1 strain, reports the AP.

I.L.