Avian influenza not cause of peacocks death near Ludhiana: Govt

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New Delhi, Jan 11 (UNI) The Government today denied media reports that avian influenza was the reason behind the death of 11 peacocks at Ladhowal forest area near Ludhiana.

The Ministry for Agriculture and Animal Husbandary clarified that samples from peacocks were sent to the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL), Bhopal which indicated that they were negative for avian influenza. Some sections of media had attributed the death of birds to bird flu.

However, another set of samples submitted for toxicological examination reveal presence of pesticides.

No outbreak of the disease had been reported in the country after the last outbreak in village Chingmeirong, East Imphal district, Manipur on July 25, 2007. The disease was restricted to a small unit in East Imphal district without further evidence of spread based on clinical and virological investigations.

India achieved freedom from disease on November 7, 2007 and the same had been notified to OIE in accordance with international obligations.

India had taken measures to control and contain avian influenza outbreak including culling of entire poultry population in the zone of 0-10 kms/0-5 kms from the infection sites. Immediate compensation was also given for birds killed in operations.

Moreover, continuous strengthening of preparedness to tackle any future eventuality in terms of upgradation of laboratories, training of manpower, stockpiling of materials for control and containment was on. General public had also been sensitised on Avian Influenza through IEC campaigns.

India had adopted a transparent approach towards reporting not only outbreaks but also information of unusual sickness/mortality in poultry and results of laboratory diagnosis. This had been appreciated by organisations like United Nations (UN), Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Health Organisation (WHO) and World Bank (WB).

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