Govt to set up expert panel to monitor avian influenza

New Delhi, Nov 13 | Updated: Nov 14 2005, 05:30am hrs
The government will soon constitute a high-level expert committee to keep a close watch on bird flu cases and also to suggest preventive measures, a top official said.

Though we have no cases of bird flu in the country, we want to take precautionary measures and the committee to be formed will include representatives from the poultry industry, animal husbandry secretary PMA Hakeem said.

The secretary said the Centre has issued instructions to all state governments to strictly monitor any death at the poultry farms and livestock species.

Animal husbandry departments have also been asked to keep strong vigil on the migratory birds in their respective states and look for any change in the behaviour of the birds, he said.

The country, as on date, is completely free from menace of the bird flu, Hakeem asserted.

He also ruled out any possibility of avian flu entering the country through imported frozen poultry products as nothing comes into the country from nations where traces of avian flue have been reported.

The Centre has issued instructions for surveillance along with collection and dispatch of samples to designated labs. In a recent meeting with state animal husbandry secretaries, the preparedness to combat any eventuality was reviewed.