Poultry industry calls for zoning, notifying regions free of bird flu

Written by ASHOK B SHARMA | New Delhi, Jul 29 | Updated: Jul 30 2007, 05:53am hrs
The Rs 15,000 crore poultry industry has asked the government to take necessary precautions to see that the exports are not affected due to a single stray incidence of avian flu.

They have suggested that the government should immediately take up zoning of major poultry pockets in the country which are still free from the influence of avian flu and bring it to the knowledge of the world organisation for animal health - OIE - and all importing countries.

The National Egg Co-ordination Committee (NECC) has said that poultry product exporting countries like China, Malaysia and even a small country like Zimbabwe have created zones within their national boundaries and have notified areas which are free from avian flu.

If India can notify areas free from the influence of foot-and-mouth diseases in cattle and buffaloes, why can not it do so in the case of poultry, NECC said.

Indias export of poultry products increased from Rs 110 million to a record high of Rs 3,260 million in 2005-06.

However, with the outbreak of avian flu in commercial poultry farms in some specified areas in Maharashtra and Gujarat in February 2006, as many as 12 importing countries banned the entry of Indian poultry products and the exports began declining. According to the data available for the year 2006-07 from April to June, poultry exports have been only Rs 560.80million .