Odishatv Bureau

Khurda/Rourkela: The Khurda district administration today completed the culling of poultry in Kerang village and has asked the people not to rear poultry in the next three months as a preventive measure against bird flu.

“Culling has been concluded in Kerang village. The officials of my department have gone to the village and told the people to stop rearing fowl and duck for the next three months,” Fisheries and Animal Resources Department (F&ARD) secretary Bishnupada Sethy told media persons in Bhubaneswar today.

“As per the standing instructions of the Government of India, we had surveyed Kerang village, the epicentre of the bird flu, and its nearby places in one km radius. During the survey, we did not find any poultry farm in these areas. Later, we were able to cull the poultry, mostly the fowls, after the villagers agreed to the proposal of the district administration to pay compensation. We have taken adequate measures to arrest the further spread of avian influenza as it is a pathogenic virus which can affect human beings mostly children and elderly persons, and other domestic animals,” Sethy pointed out.

Talking about the incidence of bird flu in Rourkela and Panposh, he said samples were sent to High Security Animal Diseases Laboratory in Bhopal. During the test, it was found that the dead birds were infected with H5N1 virus.

He also said the sample of the dead Pelican bird found in the zoo inside the Indira Gandhi Park in Rourkela has been traced with H5N1 virus.

“However, the outbreak of bird flu in these areas has not affected the poultry,” he pointed out.

In the meanwhile, following the outbreak of bird flu in Rourkela and its periphery, the Sundargarh district administration has formed 20 teams to survey the rural areas where the death of fowls has been reported.

Briefing the media after presiding over a high-level meeting in the Steel City today, Sundargarh collector Bhupinder Singh Punia said the teams are engaged in the collection the blood samples of the fowls. “Besides, steps have been taken to vaccinate about three lakh fowls within 10 km radius of Rourkela city,” he added.

Earlier in the morning, carcasses of some crows were found behind the CISF campus and Ispat General Hospital (IGH). Following information, the Forest and Animal Resources department officials went to the spot and dumped the dead birds inside a pit.