India's main poultry production area, Andhra Pradesh, is on alert after Avian Influenza was confirmed on a duck farm in Agartala.
Samples taken from Government Duck Farm, RK Nagar, Agartala, were sent to High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL), Bhopal and a government laboratory in Kolkata for testing. The tests confirmed that the samples are positive for H5 strain of Avian Influenza, a senior Health Ministry official said.
At least 3,000 poultry, including chickens and ducks, have been culled in Tripura to control further spread of bird flu from the government duck farm.
The administration has also banned sale of any poultry in and around R K Nagar farm, six kms from the capital town.
"We have asked poultry farmers to report any unusual and large-scale deaths so as to take the necessary measures to confirm if there is any outbreak of bird flu here," said Dr Y Thirupathaiah, additional director, planning, directorate of animal husbandry.
Thirupathaiah states that all poultry farmers have been educated on the bio-security measures to be taken to tackle any eventuality. In case of any signs of bird flu in the state, the serum samples will have to be sent to the HSADL Bhopal for confirmation of the virus.
2006 bird flu
In 2006, bird flu fear led to huge losses in the state as poultry birds had to be culled in large numbers and eggs were also destroyed.
The staff of the animal husbandry department are also doing the rounds of poultry farms to detect any signs of the virus and are collecting blood samples. Though this happens on a regular basis, considering the outbreak in Agartala about the outbreak of bird flu, officials are asking for extra vigilance.
Nearly two-thirds of the poultry production of the country is contributed by Andhra Pradesh which is the reason for the caution.
Source: The Times of India