Unusual poultry deaths reported in Mizoram

Written by ASHOK B SHARMA | New Delhi, Aug 7 | Updated: Aug 8 2007, 06:03am hrs
Reported cases of unusual mortality in poultry birds in Mizoram have given rise to the apprehensions that the highly pathogenic avian flu which occurred in a solitary farm in Manipur might spread to other parts of northeastern India.

However, there is some good news the samples sent from Tripura for testing in high security animal disease laboratory (HSADL) in Bhopal have been found to be free from avian flu virus.

While clean-up operation was in full swing in the affected village Chingmeirong and the surrounding areas in east Imphal district in Manipur, reports of unusual deaths of poultry birds in Tripura and Mizoram added to the problems.

Tripura borders Bangladesh and Mizoram and Manipur share their borders with Myanmar. Government feels the possibility of Avian Flu entering this part of the country from the two bird flu affected countries.

However, this apprehension is not yet confirmed. The joint secretary in the Union animal husbandary department, Upma Chawdhary said that the Centre has received reports of 500 out of 3,000 birds in Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Khowai in West Tripura district. Initial post-mortem reports have indicated that the deaths in Tripura were due to infectious Bursal disease.

The samples sent to HSADL was found to be free from avian flu virus. Unusual deaths of 122 birds were reported in Vawmbuk village in Saiha district in Mizoram till August 3, she said.

Symptoms of poultry birds that died in Mizoram indicate Fowl Pox disease. The samples from Mizoram have also been sent to HSADL for further tests and reports are awaited, she said.

The poultry industry is very much concerned as number of countries imposing ban on entry of Indian poultry products is increasing. UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Myanmar have slapped a ban on Indian poultry imports following the outbreak of avian flu in the northeastern part of the country. US, Pakistan and Bangladesh are still continuing with their ban on Indian poultry imports since 2006.

The major destination of exports of Indian live poultry, eggs, hatching eggs, frozen eggs, egg powder and poultry meat are Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Japan, Denmark, Poland, US, Angola and the West Asian countries.

In Manipur about 3,36,000 birds have been culled in and around the affected areas and 25,242 kg of feed has been destroyed. Mopping, cleaning and dis-infection operations have been taken up.

Further surveillance operations have been undertaken within a radius of 10 km from the affected area. The poultry industry of north-east India has estimated a loss of Rs 6,700 million on account of incidence of avian flu in Manipur alone. In the previous year due to the outbreak of Avian Flu in western India the estimated loss was Rs 30,000 million.