Culling of birds in capital to tackle flu

Bhubaneswar: The Centre today asked the Animal Husbandry department to start culling of birds in three kilometer radius of Jayadev Vihar area in the state capital after avian influenza resurfaced with the detection of H5N1 virus in a bird at a farm of Central Poultry Development Organisation (CPDO) here. The government has imposed restrictions on selling of birds and eggs in the capital as preventive measures.

The bird flu virus has been detected in the state capital after culling took place at Keranga in Khurda district and Betanati in Mayurbhanj district last month, Satyabrata Sahu, secretary in fisheries and animal resource development department, said.

CPDO, a central government organisation, had sent sample of some fowls to High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL) in Bhopal after some chicken died at the poultry farm here.

The Bhopal-based central laboratory confirmed the detection of bird flu virus in a sample to the central government which in turn informed the state government. Sahu convened an emergency meeting to discuss the matter with officials of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC).

At least 10 rapid response teams (RRT) have been formed and officials are put on high alert to keep a close watch on the surrounding area, an official said.
However, the state government is awaiting permission for culling of birds here, Sahu said.

Each RRT comprises a veterinary assistant surgeon, a livestock inspector, a forest official and two assistants. The teams have launched surveillance of the area within 3 km radius of the CPDO firm located near Kalinga Stadium here.

The CPDO firm is a poultry research and development organisation, which supplies chicks to many poultry farmers in the state. It has around 30,000 poultry birds.