Bird flu resurfaces in Tripura

From Our Correspondent

 AGARTALA: Bird flu has been detected in a government owned poultry farm at Gandhigram, about 18 km from here.

Director of Animal Resource department, Manoranjan Sarkar on Saturday said following deaths of poultry in the farm about four days ago, samples were sent to High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL) in Bhopal which confirmed the presence of H5N1 virus in the affected birds.

Rapid Response Squad of Animal Resource Development Department (ARDD) have been made ready and were waiting for approval from the department to begin culling, he said, adding that the culling would be restricted only to the farm.

There are 3871 poultry in Gandhigram farm in West Tripura district.

Sarkar said that more than 300 poultry were culled within the 3-km radius area of government-owned Lembucherra poultry farm in the district, about 20 km from here, in the last week of January this year after bird flu was detected in the farm.

It had been decided to immediately commence the culling of birds and destruction of eggs to control further spread of the disease without loss of time, officials said, adding surveillance would be carried out in the surroundings of the affected areas.

The culling of poultry products this time will begin at Gandhigram poultry farm after confirmation of fresh bird flu outbreak there, official sources said here on Saturday.

“The culling will be undertaken on Sunday after confirmation of the presence of H5N1 virus in the affected birds from High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL) in Bhopal” said Director, Sarakar said.

Hundreds of chicks were found dead at Gandhigram poultry farm during the past one week that had prompted the ARDD authority to send the blood sample to the designated laboratory in Bhopal.

The Bhopal based laboratory has confirmed the outbreak of avian flue at Gandhigram poultry farm, he said adding that members of Rapid Response Team were asked to keep them ready for beginning culling in the affected farm. Reports said, the number of chicks at poultry farm has reduced from 3871 to all-time low 30 during the past one week.

On being asked about resurface of avian flu in government-run farm at Gandhigram, Sarkar said “The Gandhigram area doesn’t fall within the 3 km radius of Lumbucherra ICAR farm where the outbreak of bird flu was reported in January. We left the area without carrying out culling and mopping operations on the account that Gandhigram area is not ‘so close’ to Lumbucherra ICAR farm”, he said.

The state first experienced outbreak of avian flu in 2008. At least 55,000 chicks and ducks were culled at Kamalpur, Mohanpur and its adjacent villages. (With inputs from PTI)

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