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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Bird Flu in India

Today we have 2 news reports which in itself is contradictory of each other. First India declaring itself free of bird flu and the second stepping up surveillance of bird flu after an outbreak in Jharkhand.

Reports from Press Information Bereau of India and IBN Live respectively :

India Declared Free from Bird FLU

India has declared itself free from bird flu (H5N1). The declaration was made here on December 29, 2011 and notified to OIE. However, the surveillance will be continued throughout the country especially in the vulnerable areas bordering the infected countries and in areas visited by migratory birds. Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries in the Ministry of Agriculture has advised the States to maintain vigil against the disease.

Outbreak of bird flu was notified on September 8, 2011 in village Bhamondanga, part- I, Agomoni Block in Dhubri district of Assam. This was followed by another outbreak in Betai Nanshatola and Putimari Christianpara in Tehetta Block of Nadia district of West Bengal, which was notified on September 19, 2011. Thereafter, there has been no further outbreak.

The control measures adopted in the outbreaks were stamping out of entire poultry population including destruction of eggs, feed, litters and other infected materials in the radius of 3 kms. around each outbreak location, restriction on movement of poultry, poultry products to and from the area of outbreak, disinfection and cleaning up of infected premises. The final disinfection process was completed on September 29, 2011.

Vets step up surveillance for bird flu

Close on the heels of the outbreak of bird flu in Jharkhand, the bordering villages in the tribal-dominated district of Mayurbhanj have been put on alert. Veterinary officials have been asked to inspect chicken farms and hatcheries.

Sources said scores of crows were found dead in Khunta on Monday pressing the panic button among the residents and the poultry farm owners. As mass death of crows was reported from Ranchi, BokaroJamshedpur and Dumka in Jharkhand due to the H5N1 variant of bird flu, the poultry traders of Mayurbhanj belt close to these areas are a scared lot.

Veterinary department sources said H5N1 virus spreads through air and the government cannot take any risk. A team has been constituted to keep a close watch on the poultry farms. Officials have been deployed at check posts near Anlakuda, Dhumsahi, Amarda, Ghagarbadha, Bombay Chhack, Gorumohisani, Bahalda, Jamda and Bisoi.

Chief District Veterinary Officer Nityananda Das said four teams, including three veterinary mobile teams, have been constituted for regular checking of vehicles importing chicken."

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