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Corporate poultry business responsible for birdflu

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New Delhi, Feb 26 (UNI) The Communist Party of India (CPI), the UPA government ally, and the Bharat Krishak Samaj (BKS), a farmers organisation today said corporate and large poultry business firms in Navapur in Maharashtra and in adjoining Gujarat were responsible for spreading the infection, supected to be the deadly bird flu.

If not controlled in time, it may spread to nearby villages affecting farmers rearing poultry.

Supporting the ongoing culling operation, the BKS and All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), an affiliate of CPI said the infection had spread from 18 big poultry business firms.

Stressing the government for setting up a committee to inquire into the matter, BKS chairman Krihan Bir Chaudhary questioned as to why such incidence occurred only in large poultry business firms.

These firms are rearing mostly exotic crossbreed poultry and not the indigenous poultry birds being reared by the village folks, he added. This, shows that indigenous birds are resistant to bird flu virus and hence its rearing should need more support and encouragement from the government.

The BKS and AIKS genral secretary Atul Kumar Anjaan said the incidence of infection in large poultry business firms was due to mismanagement and intensive farming that had already placed the small operator in a disadvantageous position.

They suggested that the panel constituted for the inquiry should take into account the following points.

a) Earlier reported incidence of low Avian Flu in January, 2003 in Barwala&Gurgaon region in Haryana. b) Samples tested in High Security Animal Disease Laboratory in Bhopal which proved the presence of H7N1 Virus, less dangerous than H5N1 Virus.

The H7N1 Virus is low pathogenic in nature still there is a possibility that this H7N1 Virus might have mutated into the dangerous H5N1 Virus spreading infection in the country.

UNI JSS KD RAI1115

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