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Now, avian influenza wings into MP

Now, avian influenza wings into MP

india Updated: Apr 01, 2006 11:20 IST

THE WORST fears of the people of the state and the authorities came true on Tuesday with the Union department of animal husbandry confirming the presence of the H5N1 virus in some poultry samples from Icchapur village, in Burhanpur district in south-west MP.

Samples from six places in the neighbouring Maharashtra district of Jalgaon, where bird flu had been detected earlier this month, had also tested positive, a simultaneous announcement stated on Tuesday.

Though sources claimed only one sample from Icchapur had tested positive for the avian influenza, principal secretary of the animal husbandry department Ranjana Choudhary said the central government communiqué did not mention the exact number of positive samples.

The state’s minister for animal husbandry Ramakant Tiwari officially announced the outbreak at a press conference in the evening and said Section 144 of the CrPC has been imposed throughout Burhanpur. He added that the state machinery has been shifted into top gear for culling and disposal of poultry according to the directives of the central government.

Elaborating on the culling process, Choudhary said it has been decided that 6,637 birds — all of them backyard poultry — would be culled within a radius of 10 km from Icchapur.

The process will start at 9 am on Wednesday and be completed by evening as all the birds have already been identified, the principal secretary said.

About 23 villages are located in the demarcated area and preparations have been made for culling operations in all the villages. The vil lagers will be paid Rs 40 per broiler, Rs 30 per layer (egg-laying hen) and Rs 10 per chick culled.

A total of 28 rapid response action teams have been constituted for this purpose and provided with protective gear. The teams include vaccinators, cullers, veterinarian doctors, veterinary field assistants and peons.

Commissioner of veterinary services Dr Rajesh Rajora who is already in Icchapur monitoring the situation said a house-to-house mopup operation would follow on Thursday to cull any bird that might have escaped Wednesday’s operation.

Fresh scare Icchapur in Madhya Pradesh is the latest place to be struck by the H5N1 virus Section 144 of the CrPC imposed in entire Burhanpur district, bordering Jalgaon. Culling to begin in a 10-km radius of the village on Wednesday.