Tamil Nadu has taken all possible preventive measures to avoid the spread of Avian influenza following an outbreak in neighbouring Kerala, the state government said today.
The government has set up 1,061 rapid response teams, each headed by a veterinary assistant surgeon, in all districts. A multi-departmental panel is also working to prevent the transmission of the virus that causes bird flu. The Centre notified an Avian influenza outbreak in ducks in Kerala’s Allapuzha district in December.
In six districts that border Kerala — The Nilgiris, Tiruppur, Coimbatore, Tenkasi, Theni, and Kanyakumari — the Tamil Nadu government has deployed monitoring teams at 26 temporary inter-state border check posts. These teams, comprising staff members from the Animal Husbandry Department, will conduct round-the-clock monitoring to prevent trucks and vehicles carrying live ducks, chickens, quail, turkeys, eggs and hatching eggs, poultry feed, and manure from Kerala enter Tamil Nadu. The teams have already denied entry to 364 vehicles.
All other vehicles arriving from Kerala are being disinfected at the check posts. Poultry farms in Tamil Nadu have also been barred from selling chicks and poultry originating in Kerala, the state government said in an official release.
The Tamil Nadu government has also advised the Environment and Forest Department to immediately report virus outbreaks or deaths of migrating birds at zoological parks or wildlife sanctuaries to the nearest veterinary institutions.
The National Egg Coordination Committee (NEEC-Namakkal), the Broiler Coordination Committee (BCC-Palladam), and the Tamil Nadu Poultry Farmers Association (TNPFA) have been barred from purchasing or bringing chicks, birds, eggs and egg products, and poultry-related items, including feed, from Kerala. Poultry farms, on the other hand, have been directed to implement strict biosecurity measures.
The Tamil Nadu Public Health and Environment and Forest Departments, Southern Railway, NEEC, BCC, and the TNPFA are part of an inter-departmental committee co-ordinating with district collectors to prevent an Avian influenza outbreak in the state.