Meghalaya bans import of poultry products

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Shillong, Jan 19 (UNI) The Meghalaya government has banned the import of chicken and poultry products following the outbreak of avian flu in West Bengal and Bangladesh.

'' We have stopped import of chicken and poultry products owing to outbreak of H5N1 in West Bengal,'' Chief Secretary Ranjan Chatterjee said.

The ban will continue until the situation improves, he said.

Mr Chatterjee said the government would conduct blood samples test from domestic fowls to check any signs of H5N1 virus.

The Border Security Force has sealed its border with Bangladesh banning import of poultry items following outbreak of bird flu in that country.

The BSF has instructed all its troops along the Indo-Bangla border to keep an extra alert to check import of poultry items after the outbreak of epidemic in West Bengal and Bangladesh.

Temporary check posts have been set up in Muktapur, Dawki, Hingkaria, Huroi, Leijri, Hatmawdon, Balat, Shella, Itchamati, Nongjri, Ranikor, Borsora, Maheshkhola Rongra, Baghmara, Sibbari, Gasuapara, Dimapara, Dalu, Purakhasia and Mahendraganj villages bordering the Indo-Bangla border, Animal and Husbandry official said.

Meanwhile, surveillance, early detection and vaccination programmes have been carried out under the task force. The veterinary department also conducted an examination in the markets here.

Earlier, Meghalaya government had constituted a task force headed by the Chief Secretary to monitor cases of bird flu in the state.

The task force also decided that there would be coordinated approach from various departments of the state--Forest, Veterinary, Health, Police, Agriculture and Public Health Engineering to tackle bird flu in case of any occurrence.

The district task force under the Chairmanship of the Deputy Commissioner will co-ordinate all the activities at district level and organise a special drive to create awareness through traditional institutions and other means of communication in the international areas of the state on bird flu.

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