Manipur: Chickens killed on outbreak of bird flu
Imphal, July 28: Veterinary workers in protective clothing culled thousands of chickens to contain the outbreak of bird flu at a poultry farm in Manipur.
"We will continue this because we need to cull all the birds in the five-kilometre radius within shortest possible time," said Dorendro Singh, Director of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry on Friday.
Singh said they planned to kill 150,000 birds by next week within five km radius of Chingmeirong village, on the outskirts of Imphal.
Nearly 10,000 chickens have been killed around Chingmeirong village, before being thrown into huge pits and then covered with lime and salt and soil.
According to officials, there were no reported suspected human cases in Manipur, but they would question thousands of people around the affected area on whether they were suffering from flu symptoms and had contact with poultry.
In some neighbourhoods near the affected farm where medical teams has not yet visited, anxious residents opened camps and asked those suffering from fever to report for checks.
Three other states in the region asked veterinary workers to visit farms to monitor the health of the birds, with two of them Assam and Nagaland putting up checkpoints on roads to prevent the entry of fowl from the affected area.
Officials, however, said the outbreak in Manipur seemed isolated.
On Friday, the Centre ordered the culling of domesticated birds, and ordered the shutdown of all poultry shops in Manipur Poultry dealers feel the prices of chicken may fall drastically, as consumers are wary of eating chicken. Markets have experienced sluggish sales since reports of bird flu were confirmed on July 25.
Confirmation of the H5N1 strain came after authorities received the results from two Government laboratories. In Imphal, a town of some 200,000 people, many residents have stopped buying chicken and eggs, important items in the diet of a majority of people in the state.
In the past, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Pakistan have also witnessed outbreaks of the H5N1 strain of bird flu.
New Delhi has banned poultry trade with bird flu-hit nations such as China, Bangladesh and Myanmar, but officials are worried about people bringing poultry illegally across the frontiers.