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State takes measures to avert spread of bird flu, poultry farms under radar

State takes measures to avert spread of bird flu, poultry farms under radar
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Kolkata: The state government has started taking precautionary measures to prevent the spread of bird flu in the state. The state Animal Resources Development (ARD) department has instructed its officials to keep an eye on poultry farms across the state and spray disinfectants on a regular basis. The state Forest department has also issued directive to all concerned officials to keep a hawk eye on all ranges and beat offices, particularly where migratory birds have

arrived.

"There is nothing to panic regarding bird flu in Bengal. We conduct surveillance and monitoring on a regular basis round the year. We have taken all sorts of precautionary measures," Bidyut Roy, Director of ARD department

said.

President of state Veterinary Council Jaharlal Chakraborty said instructions had been issued to all concerned that if they come across any abnormality in birds' behaviour, then they should bring it to the notice of the Council and the department so that a test for bird flu could be conducted without delay.

"Farmers have been asked to take bio-security measures in their respective farms and they are adhering to it," said Madan Mohan Maity, General Secretary of West Bengal Poultry Federation.

Bird flu has been reported among wild geese in Himachal Pradesh, crows in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh and ducks in Kerala.

During winter, many wetlands in the city as well as on the fringes attract a large number of migratory birds, mainly from central Asia and Trans-Siberian region.

"We have already issued alerts to the bird sanctuaries and the wet lands to keep track of the health of the migratory birds," a senior official of the Forest department

said.

He added that the officials would report bird death, if any, and collect the viscera or carcass and send samples for analysis. If any dead bird is found, the department will send the carcass to the Bhopal-based National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases to find out whether it died of bird flu.

It is a highly contagious viral disease caused by Influenza Type-A viruses,

which generally affects poultry birds such as chickens and turkeys.

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