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Bhutan bans import of poultry from India

health-and-fitness Updated: Jan 17, 2008 10:54 IST

PTI
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Bhutan has banned the import of poultry and its products from India for an indefinite period following an outbreak of bird flu in West Bengal.

Chief Veterinary Officer Karma Tenzin said until India declares itself bird flu free, the ban would continue.

The ban came into effect on Wednesday.

"It's right across the border and we won't take any chances," he said.

Southwestern Bhutan shares its borders with West Bengal, where the administration has began culling of nearly four lakh birds in Birbhum and South Dinajpur districts.

According to Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) records, Bhutan imports nearly 100 MT of processed chicken and 30,000 cartons of eggs from India annually.

Bhutan had last imposed a ban on Indian poultry products in July last year following an avian flu scare in Manipur. The ban was lifted in November.

Officials in the livestock department said so far they there are no reports of chickens dying in any of the poultry farms in Bhutan.

According to Sithar Dorji of BAFRA, rapid response teams, assisted by livestock officials, have been asked to step up surveillance at all entry points.

"Our inspectors have been informed to cancel all import licenses," Dorji said.