Expert committee recommends lifting of poultry import ban

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Guwahati, Feb 18 (UNI) A high-level expert committee today recommended the lifting of poultry import ban in Assam, with the final orders likely to be issued in two days.

Sources at the state Veterinary and Animal Husbandry department informed that a meeting, held in Dispur, recommended the lifting of the ban as no fresh cases of bird flu had been reported in the country.

Neighbouring West Bengal, which had reported the outbreak of the avian flu, had already lifted its ban on poultry products. As the ban in Assam was imposed in view of the disease in the neighbouring state, Assam would also follow suit in lifting it, the sources added.

The recommendations of the meeting would be sent to the state Agriculture minister upon his return to the state capital on February 20.

As soon as the minister approves the recommendations, the ban would be lifted, the sources said.

Culling of about 80,000 birds was taken up within five km radius in Dhubri and Kokrajhar districts along the West Bengal border after the outbreak of the dreaded avian flu in the neigbouring state.

An amount of Rs 24 lakh, to be released in two instalments, has been sanctioned to compensate the farmers who lost their poultry.

A central government team, that had visited the state, had recommended the culling as a preventive measure.

No outbreak of bird flu has been reported from the state, Veterinary department sources informed.

UNI SG DPM SY VC1740

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