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Culling of Birds Stepped Up for Prevention and Control of Avian Influenza in Bhagalpur

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By Avijit Biswas

Bhagalpur: To contain spread of avian influenza culling of poultry birds have been stepped here in one kilometer radius of regional poultry farm located in Barari area of city.

With area of municipal wards, no 27, 28 and 29 falling under one kilometer radius of regional poultry farm declared as infected zone, the culling of birds is being undertaken by animal husbandry department team in these wards apart from regional poultry farm.

The process of bird culling has been initiated in aforesaid wards following survey of bird population by animal husbandry department team. In last two days eleven thousand chicks and five thousand birds were culled alone in regional poultry farm considered as center of origin of the disease. The culling of birds for prevention and containing spread of avian influenza also referred as bird flu continued for third day today.

It may be mentioned the local administration was put on alert on last Friday by state animal husbandry department after prevalence of avian influenza (H5N1) was confirmed in test results of samples of birds sent to National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases situated at Bhopal from regional poultry farm here.

The samples of birds were sent for test following death of birds at regional poultry farm.  The Action Plan for Prevention, Control &Containment of Avian Influenza (Revised 2021) framed by Government of India is being implemented here on directive of state animal husbandry department to scuttle threat concerning spread of the disease.

Taking note of specified guidelines of Action Plan for Prevention, Control & Containment of Avian Influenza (Revised 2021), the nine kilometer area beyond infected zone has been declared as surveillance zone. The eggs and poultry feed are also being destroyed for prevention and control of the disease.

Dr Hem Shanker Sharma, a leading physician of the city said through contact and food transmission there is chances bird flu can affect human being. Hence by taking action like culling of birds in infected area besides ensuring chicken meat and eggs are properly boiled at high temperature while preparing food the threat of bird flu infection in human beings can be avoided. Immediately there is nothing to be scared Dr Sharma said adding the steps being taken at administrative level would be effective in prevention and containing spread of the disease.

Meanwhile the teams deputed for culling of birds had to face opposition from bird owners in certain areas of infected zone. However, bird owners opposed to culling allowed the teams to perform their duty on assurance that they would be compensated for their loss as per government guidelines.

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Writer Avijit Biswas, former principal correspondent of Hindustan Times Bhagalpur bureau, can be contacted at biswasavijit@yahoo.com

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