Tamil Nadu wary of bird flu as it spreads

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Palladam (Tamil Nadu), Jan 25: Authorities in Tamil Nadu have mounted measures to check the outbreak of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu in the state.

Veterinary officials said all necessary precautions are in place and poultry farmers have been asked to appraise authorities in case of any suspicion. "We have taken very strict and stringent efforts for maintaining the bio-security at the farm level. We have also instructed our farmers," said D. Lazar Ezhil Durai, senior veterinary doctor at the Palladam poultry farm on the outskirts of the Coimbatore district.

Meanwhile, culling operations began in Hooghly district of West Bengal, after the detection of the presence of deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu.

Villagers of Balagarh in Hooghly, about 80 kilometers from Kolkata said though bird flu has affected their neighbouring village they did not believe the virus had spread there.

"Culling teams are working here. First time in my life, I am seeing government officials coming and culling our birds," said Mehera Bibi, a villager.

Villagers organised fire rituals to pray to the gods to ward off any possible ill effects of bird flu on their livelihood.

Meanwhile, West Bengal Animal Resources Development Minister Anisur Rehman claimed that the situation was under control. The State government has released 85 million rupees for compensation to poultry losers and urged the centre for more funds in this regard.

About 160,000 poultry birds have been culled in West Bengal so far, while over 100,000 birds have succumbed to the disease.

The H5N1 strain has killed more than 200 people globally since it re-emerged in Asia in 2003 and has since spread across much of Asia, the Middle East, parts of Europe and Africa.

The WHO has called the outbreak the most serious in India.

 

ANI

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