|Bird flu returns to Manipur |
IMPHAL, April 20 – Manipur Government has confirmed the outbreak of avian influenza (bird flu) in the State after the sample sent for testing at Bhopal turned out to be positive.
State Director of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Dr M Rajendra told media persons here today that culling and burial of affected birds have been started. The fowl farmers shall be adequately compensated but the compensation amount is yet to be approved, he added. The compensation for broiler chicken was Rs 30 a kg when the State was hit by bird flu in July 2007.
Another senior official of the department informed that the authority has so far culled and buried more than 1,000 chickens, 1050 eggs and few ducks. “Steps are on to tackle the disease by deploying rapid response teams for culling and surveillance,” he added. A control room has also been opened in Imphal besides banning movement of birds and poultry products.
Meanwhile, Imphal West district District Magistrate N Geoffrey has issued a notification on Monday prohibiting sale of poultry, feed and eggs within a radius of 10 km from the infected site until completion of culling and sanitisation operations.
Another notification said the epicentre of the outbreak is the poultry unit of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Imphal and an area within a radius of one to 10 kms has been declared as infected and surveillance zones.
Sources said that some chicken had died at ICAR poutry farm on April 6. Fluid samples were sent to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases, Bhopal on April 16. The report from the Institute was officially sent on April 18.
Incidentally, Manipur had banned the import of chicken and livestock from Myanmar following the outbreak of bird flu in that country recently.
Bird flu in domestic and wild birds has been reported in 70 countries since it was first identified in Hong Kong in 1997. China has confirmed three human cases and two deaths in 2007.
India’s last major bird flu outbreak was in November last year, after a Bhopal-based laboratory confirmed that the recent mass deaths of ducks in Alapuzha in Kerela were due to avian influenza or bird flu.