Bird flu may spread to Tripura

Written by ASHOK B SHARMA | New Delhi, Aug 5 | Updated: Aug 6 2007, 06:05am hrs
The poultry industry of northeast India is very concerned as the reports of confirmation of outbreak of Avian Flu in Tripura are awaited.

Last week, about 300 chickens died within two days in Divyadoy Krishi farm in West Tripura district. On August 2, 2007 after initial tests conducted by the state veterinary officials the samples were sent to High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL), Bhopal and National Institute of Virology, Pune for detecting the possible presence of the strains of highly pathogenic Avian Flu virus - H5N1. Tripura borders avian flu-affected Bangladesh.

The reports from these two institutes are awaited," said the joint secretary in the Union animal husbandry department, Upma Chawdhary.

The incidence of avian flu on a single farm in village Chingmeirong in East Imphal district in Manipur and its subsequent fallout have already crippled the industry in the state and caused a heavy loss to farmers. The leader of Bharat Krishak Samaj, Krishan Bir Choudhary who visited the spot of occurrence alleged, Indigenous birds reared by farmers are being culled, placing village folks at heavy losses. Avian flu virus must have come from Myanmar or Bangladesh and this needs to be investigated. Exotic birds are more efficient carriers of the virus and ultimately the indigenous birds become the victims. According to an estimate made by north eastern Poultry and Egg Federation (NEPEF), the poultry sector in Manipur state, which has a market size of Rs 1,000 crore has suffered a loss of Rs 670 crore

The NEPEF president JK Talukdar said, If timely preventive actions are not taken, the poultry industry in the entire north-eastern region would be severely affected.

After the confirmation of the incidence of avian flu in

Manipur in July 25, 2007, 128 poultry units within a radius of5 km from Chingmeirong village had been targeted for culling operations and surveillance operations were carried out with a radius of 10 km.

About 3,31,606 birds including ducks have been culled so far, 28,103 eggs and 25,242 kg feed were destroyed. The government has set a target to cull 1,50,000 birds in the area.