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Precautions in place, poultry import banned

WHILE CHIEF Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has sought cooperation of all political parties to combat ?grave threat to the peoples? health? in the wake of the bird flu scare, the government has geared up to ensure ban on import of poultry that might carry the disease into the State.

india Updated: Feb 21, 2006 15:07 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

WHILE CHIEF Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has sought cooperation of all political parties to combat ‘grave threat to the peoples’ health’ in the wake of the bird flu scare, the government has geared up to ensure ban on import of poultry that might carry the disease into the State.

Commissioner of Veterinary Services Rajesh Rajora reiterated that there has been no news of any mass immature death of poultry from anywhere in the State .

A total 400 fresh samples have been collected from the districts bordering Maharashtra and would be sent to the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL) for testing. Officers of the department are conducting sampling and checking all across the State.

The Chief Minister assured the State Assembly that efforts were on to face the challenge posed by bird flu on a war footing.

The situation needs widespread campaign to combat the crisis and the government machinery was working on full swing, he said in a statement.

Earlier, in a statement over the issue, Animal Husbandry Minister Ramakant Tiwari informed the House that no case of bird flu has been reported in the State.

Apart from collecting samples from across the state, rapid response teams comprising two vaccinators and two cullers, have been formed to meet any situation, he said, adding around 50,00 vaccines have been requisitioned from the Centre and 30 veterinary doctors have been accorded special training in Pune on avian influenza.

Instructions have been given to maintain strict vigil, especially in Barwani and other districts neighbouring Maharashtra, the Minister said.

Special protective gear and kits have been issued to veterinary teams involved in the widespread operations. A state-level committee headed by state Agriculture Production Commissioner has been formed to work out further plans.

The Directorate of Veterinary Services has issued detailed instructions to the poultry farm and hatchery owners and small-time poultry farmers to strictly follow the bio-security norms at the farms and hatcheries in view of the alert on bird flu in the State.

The State Government today formally banned the import of poultry from Maharashtra. The commissioner held a meeting with the Poultry Farmers’ Association on Monday in Bhopal to issue the guidelines and also allay fear among them. Details of situation at poultry farms across the State were

sought from these representatives. Later, the commissioner told the media persons that the association members have assured all cooperation about observing bio-security norms strictly.

As for the small-time farmers who rear poultry on small scale, efforts are being made to reach information to them through the field officials of the veterinary department.

Information would also be spread through the regular camps of the department held twice in every block every month, Rajora said.

As for the bio-security norms, the farm and hatchery owners have been asked to prevent entry of any outside person, material or vehicle or else use complete disinfection method before allowing the entry.

The farm workers should use mask, gloves, boots and other preventive clothing while handling the poultry. All preventive methods are to be taken to ensure that infection does not leak in into the State.

The area around the farms and hatcheries has to be kept totally clean and weeding done regularly to prevent growth of germs and insects.

The droppings and other body material of the birds are to be buried deep in the ground along with all dead birds and broken eggs. Before burying the material disinfectant has to be sprinkled.

The owners have been asked to be on alert for any symptoms of disease and prevent inter and intra-hatchery movement of material and workers. If any symptoms of disease are seen the veterinary officials including the farm in-charge, joint director/ deputy director and the directorate in Bhopal has to be informed. The area infested should immediately be closed down and further action taken only on advise of experts.

If any case tests positive for bird flu, outflow of poultry and poultry products are to be immediately stopped from the particular farm.

The outflow is to remain stopped until the disease is totally controlled. The status quo regarding outflow is to be maintained at least one month after the last dead bird is found or till the State Veterinary Department declares the farm safe.

The farm owners have also been asked not to panic unnecessarily and rule out any other form of diseases common in poultry before raising scare.

The other disease that are common in poultry but do not infect human beings include New Castle disease (Ranikhet), Infection bursal disease, Marex disease , Fowl Pox. E-Coli, Salmonellosis and Big Liver Disease.

The common symptoms of bird flu are respiratory disorder, sneezing, running nose, swelling in the eyes. The farmers were also provided with list of symptoms of the common diseases.

Doctors’ team keeping watch
A TEAM of ten doctors was formed to keep a watch on the situation in Bhopal district in view of bird flu scare. The district veterinary department is fully geared to deal with any situation and poultry farmers, traders and common people have been urged to take precautions to prevent any chance of infection, Joint Director of Veterinary Sciences, Bhopal, Dr Santosh Kumar Soni said.

Veterinarian Dr S R Patel of the Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) is heading doctors’ team that is keeping watch on disease situation. The in-charges of the veterinary hospitals in Phanda and Berasia blocks are also in constant touch with the poultry farmers in their area.

Any information regarding the disease may be notified to Dr Patel on cell phone number 9425080578 or to joint director Dr Soni on his office phone number 2766310 or residence number 2571916. The poultry sold in Jehangirabad market in City is being checked every day for diseases.

First Published: Feb 21, 2006 15:07 IST