53,000 poultry birds to be culled after avian flu confirmed at two farms in Mohali
The National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases, Bhopal, has confirmed avian influenza in samples of birds sent from two poultry farms in Mohali’s Dera Bassi subdivision. Not just poultry birds, but also the sample of a dead crow has tested positive.
The development comes a day after the Bhopal lab confirmed flu in a migratory bird found dead at the Siswan reserve in the district.
The authorities are now gearing up for culling 53,000 poultry birds at the two farms in Behra village: Alpha and Royal.
“We have received the confirmation letter from the Bhopal lab. We have constituted 25 teams to begin culling,” said VK Janjua, additional chief secretary, animal husbandry and dairy department, Punjab.
The notification in this regard is awaited from the Centre, he said, adding that according to the head count done by the department, 53,000 birds are to be culled. The operations are expected to begin on Thursday.
According to the procedure, the department will be sending the number of birds to the Centre, and the compensation will be paid to the poultry farm owners by both the central and state governments in 50:50 ratio.
Confirmation comes after 5 days
The Northern Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, Jalandhar, had confirmed bird flu in the samples from the two farms on January 15, but the final report was awaited from Bhopal.
“As per the protocol, all poultry birds within the radius of 1 kilometre of the infected farms are to be culled. However, there is no other farm within the given radius,” said Janjua.
The staff culling the birds will be placed in 14-day quarantine and will be given Tamiflu tablets to ensure their safety. The digging of pits has started to bury the birds after culling.
The two farms in question are layer farms, which means birds are reared only for laying eggs and not for their meat. Dera Bassi has around 30 poultry farms, of which 20 are layer farms and 10 are broiler farms, said an owner.
Meanwhile, on the bird flu case at Siswan, Janjua said: “There is no farm within 1 kilometre of the spot, but we have asked the wildlife department to be on alert. Samples are being collected of birds being reared by the locals as well.”
P’kula admn still awaiting reports
In the neighbouring Panchkula district, which was the first to confirm bird flu at two farms in Barwala on January 8, the administration is still awaiting reports of other samples sent to the Bhopal lab.
As many as 81,000 birds were culled at the two farms besides another one in the infected zone.
Panchkula deputy commissioner Mukesh Kumar Ahuja said samples have been were sent from around 40 poultry farms, where mortality was high, but reports are still awaited. Some samples have also been sent to a laboratory in Hisar.
In Chandigarh, 16 dead crows and an eagle were found in different areas on Wednesday, taking the total to 140 since a migratory bird’s carcass was found floating in Sukhna Lake a couple of weeks back. Debendra Dalai, chief conservator of forest, said that reports of all samples sent for testing till now have been negative.
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