High alert in AP to prevent bird flu outbreak

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Hyderabad, Feb 4 (UNI) In the wake of bird flu outbreak in West Bengal, the Andhra Pradesh government has put its machinery on high alert to check any such cases in the state, Animal Husbandry Minister Mandali Buddaprasad said today.

''All the blood samples tested so far had proved negative and there is no cause for worry'', the Minister told UNI here.

''We have constituted a high-level team to constantly monitor the situation. Though chances of bird flu outbreak in the state are remote, we don't want to take any chances,'' he said.

The Minister ruled out spread of the disease through migratory birds as they had left for their homeland since December end.

''So far, 8496 blood samples were tested at South Region Disease Diagnostics Laboratory in Bangalore and High Security Animal Disease Laboratory in Bhopal,'' he added.

State Animal Husbandry Department Director Mohan said all the poultry farms in the state were asked to adopt bio-safety measures to prevent any outbreak of the disease.

The district authorities had been asked to report any unnatural death of birds and if any, they are subjected to thorough tests, he added.

''We are sending four crore eggs to different parts of the country, including one crore to West Bengal and one lakh hatching eggs for poultry farms in North-Eastern and other states,'' he said.

''Eversince the bird flu scare hit hard the poultry industry in the state in 2002, a strict vigil is being maintained to prevent outbreak of the disease'', he added.

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