Bird flu found at four more poultry farms in Panchkula: Lab director
The Northern Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, Jalandhar, on Sunday confirmed bird flu in samples taken from four more poultry farms in Panchukula’s Barwala-Raipur Rani belt, adding to the number of birds to be culled.
Meanwhile, culling operations are moving at a snail’s pace, with the district administration managing to dispose of only 13,000 birds at two farms in the past two days. While confirming the outbreak on Friday, the Haryana animal husbandry and dairying department had announced plans to cull 1.66 lakh birds at five affected farms in Kheri and Dandalwar-Ganauli villages.
“We had collected samples from 15 poultry farms. Samples from four farms have tested positive. These four samples, along with samples from some other farms, have been sent to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) in Bhopal (for final confirmation),” said Dr Mohinder Pal Singh, director, NRDDL, Jalandhar.
After NIHSAD on Thursday night confirmed bird flu in samples taken from Siddharth Poultry Farm, Kheri, and Nature Poultry Farm, Dandlawar-Ganauli, the Haryana government on Friday evening turned the area within a kilometre of the two epicentres as infected zone (covering three more farms in Kheri) and 1-10km as surveillance zone.
Culling could begin only by Saturday afternoon amid delays in putting the teams together. By night, only 3,700 birds were culled at Sidharth and Nature farms. On Sunday, 9,395 more birds were culled, taking the count to 13,095.
What admn says
“The special task force culled 3,845 birds at Sidharth Poultry Farm and 5,550 at Nature Poultry Farm on Sunday,” stated a press release issued by Panchkula deputy commissioner Mukesh Kumar Ahuja, adding that the work is going on a “war footing”.
“By Monday, culling will be completed in the two farms and teams will move to other farms falling in the infected area,” said Ahuja. He said 120 men divided into 30 teams carried out culling operations on Saturday, and 100 additional men were deployed on Sunday.
When asked how many days it will take to cull 1.66 lakh birds at the five farms even while cases are surfacing at more farms, Ahuja said: “I will issue a new notification on Monday about the number of farms falling in the infected area and the number of chickens to be culled. The given number of 1.66 lakh is not final.”
On new cases, he said that no further report has been received from Bhopal.
Meanwhile, Kanwar Daman Singh, nodal officer for bird flu, said: “Rapid response teams are putting up at four schools in Raipur Rani, which have been turned into quarantine facilities.”
“More than the department’s team, our labour is working throughout the day. What about their safety? Where will they be quarantined,” questioned a poultry farm owner, who did not wish to be named.