Bird flu detected at farm in Punjab’s Ludhiana, 90,000 birds to be culled
The National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases, Bhopal, has confirmed avian influenza in samples of birds sent from a poultry farm at Kila Raipur, prompting the administration to order culling of 90,000 birds.
The samples were collected on Wednesday after owner of Suba Singh poultry farm informed the administration about the mysterious death of 1,500 birds.
As the report confirming presence of bird flu arrived on Friday evening, deputy commissioner Varinder Kumar Sharma declared the area within a kilometre of the epicentre as infected zone and 1-10km as surveillance zone.
Ordering culling of 90,000 birds at the farm, he also constituted a nine-member committee to oversee the process and ensure that no bird, unprocessed poultry meat, eggs, feed or any other material was taken out from the poultry farm.
The committee headed by Khanna additional deputy commissioner Sakatar Singh Bal took stock of the situation at the farm on Saturday.
Bal said 20 teams of the animal husbandry department will start the culling operation in two shifts from Sunday. With a target of 4,000-6,000 birds a day, the process should be completed in around three weeks, he added.
A highly contagious viral disease, avian influenza has many strains. But, most of them are mild and may only cause low egg production or other mild symptoms among birds. However, some are severe and cause deaths of large number of birds.
Generally, people coming in close contact with infected alive or dead birds contract the flu, and it does not usually spread from person to person, according to the World Health Organization, which has also said that there is no evidence that the disease can be spread to people through properly prepared and cooked poultry food.