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NECC organising workshops against bird flu fear

By Staff
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Bhopal, Apr 6: The National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC) will organise workshops in Madhya Pradesh to dispel apprehensions about bird flu that has pushed the domestic poultry industry to the brink of ruin.

''The beginning has been made from the Madhya Pradesh capital.

The apprehension has pushed the domestic poultry industry to the brink of ruin and two suicides were reported from Andhra Pradesh,'' NECC Vice-Chairman Vishwanath Dubey told reporters here yesterday.

He claimed that, since February 19, the industry suffered dizzying losses amounting to Rs 1,500 crore and the figure was Rs 50 crore for the state alone.

Pointing out that not a single human being had been infected with avian influenza in India, Mr Dubey claimed that the ailment was one that did not spread rapidly even in poultry farms.

''Bird flu spreads more among 'desi' poultry due to lack of precautions. The Indian tendency to cook chicken well before consuming it implies that there is absolutely no apprehension of spread among humans,'' he told reporters here.

Mr Dubey explained that infected poultry perished within a couple of days and did not lay eggs during the period.

''The high-risk category comprises those who rear poultry at home and were already suffering respiratory diseases. Poultry deaths are higher in summer due to the temperature,'' he added.

One of the poultry samples from Ichhapur village, in Madhya Pradesh's Burhanpur district, recently tested positive for bird flu at the Bhopal-based High Security Animal Disease Laboratory, which is a national referral facility. Later, about 6,600 poultry were culled in that area.

A Madhya Pradesh Poultry Traders' Association delegation, led by Mr Dubey, met Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan at Mantralaya yesterday. Mr Chouhan assured that steps would be taken to remove hurdles in the poultry business.

UNI

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