IMPHAL, April 26 – Expressing gratitude to state veterinary and animal husbandry and also health service for their relentless effort to intervene the sudden outbreak of avian influenza (H5N1) commonly known as bird flu in the state, the Imphal chapter of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Lamphelpat authority has informed the media that “the virus infecting the poultry birds of ICAR (Imphal) came from an unknown source” and the center is “still investigating into it though it is very difficult to locate the source of transmission”.
Scientist, Veterinary-Public Health Dr Blessa Sailo of ICAR Imphal said that the center only arranges for sending the sample to ICAR-National Institute of High Security Animal Disease (NIHSAD), Bhopal for further investigation, not for detection of Bird Flu and later the result was communicated to state government through the secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry Dairy and Fisheries (DADF), Ministry of Agriculture, New Delhi on April 18 under strict guidelines recommended by the ministry.
Clarifying over the newsreports published in some of the Imphal-based media, he said the question “of not communicating the result to ICAR Imphal by ICAR-NIHSAD” doesn’t arises here as per the guidelines. He further clarified that the ICAR-NIHSAD is the only Institute authorised to confirm the report of animal and poultry diseases, which is also a world organisation for animal health reference/certificate laboratory and report furnish by the said institute is beyond doubt.
When questioned about the tentative number of the fowls culled since the outbreak of the disease, technical officer, Veterinary of ICAR, Asem Suresh replied that the figure is “not known” as “the state veterinary department has not informed” them about the ongoing process. However, the authority keeps communicating and updating about the development, he added.The state authority has reportedly culled more than 20,000 birds after the outbreak of the bird flu in the state since April 20 this month.
Meanwhile, days after the culling of the chicken and ducks, mopping activities have also been initiated by the teams of State Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Department to control the Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) in the state.Around twelve RRTs (rapid response teams) accompanied by mobile units conducted the mopping exercise.
Sources from the control room of State veterinary and animal husbandry department said the combing process was started in some places along with culling, mopping and surveillance operations. So far around 20,859 chicks and ducks were culled from the day one of outbreak of the epidemic on April 20. Besides, around 2335 eggs and 5759 kilogram of feeds were also destroyed till date according to control room sources.
Director of Veterinary and animal husbandry department Dr Ningombam Rajen said around 275 chicks and ducks were also culled besides destroying 60 eggs and 410 kilogram of feeds by the department’s surveillance team today. The director also clarified that the said chicks, ducks, eggs and feeds which were destroyed during the combing process would not be compensated by the department.