Fresh samples taken from Barwala poultry farms amid bird flu fears in Panchkula
The cause of unusual deaths of 4 lakh poultry birds in Panchkula’s Barwala-Raipur Rani belt remains a mystery, prompting the authorities to collect samples afresh on Tuesday.
As the tests of blood samples of poultry sent by the state animal husbandry department to the Regional Disease Diagnosis Laboratory in Jalandhar on Saturday evening were inconclusive, a four-member team from the lab arrived in Barwala on Tuesday to take fresh samples.
Lab director Dr Mohinder Pal Singh said: “On Sunday, we received four samples. However, the quality wasn’t good, so we couldn’t establish the cause of death. As bird flu has been confirmed in other areas, we are taking the death of a large number of poultry birds in Barwala seriously.”
Till Tuesday evening, the team had collected 45 samples from five poultry farms. After collecting more samples, it will be returning to Jalandhar on Wednesday morning.
“The reports of fresh samples will be out by Wednesday evening,” said Dr Singh, adding that if they test positive for bird flu, then according to the protocol, the samples will be sent to the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory in Bhopal for confirmation.
Considered Asia’s second largest poultry hub, with a daily production of more than 1 crore eggs and employing 15,000 workers at around 120 farms, the Barwala belt has seen the death of 4 lakh chickens out of around 78 lakh, as confirmed by the Haryana government on Tuesday.
“Among the suspected diseases can also be Ranikhet or infectious laryngo-tracheitis,” the animal husbandry department said in an advisory, adding that poultry and poultry products can be cooked and consumed as usual with no fear of acquiring infection.