Blood samples sent for investigation, school on the unit premises closed

Cases of chicken and duck deaths were reported over the weekend at the Central Poultry Development Organisation in Hesaraghatta, near Bangalore, where an outbreak of avian influenza killed around 3,600 turkeys over the last fortnight.

A statement from the Department of Animal Husbandry and Fisheries said that 120 chicken deaths were recorded at the institute on Sunday, while 86 chicken and 17 ducks died on Saturday. Principal Secretary of the department Arvind Jannu told The Hindu that there was cause to suspect an outbreak of avian influenza that now includes poultry other than turkey.

As a precautionary measure, the department has directed local authorities to close a school that is located on the CPDO premises, he added.

To ascertain the cause of death, blood samples have been sent to the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory and that all the dead birds have been disposed of as per the prescribed guidelines under the Government of India Action Plan 2012 for control, containment and eradication of Avian Influenza.

The government has also notified 68 villages that fall within a 10-km radius of the organisation, as a ‘surveillance zone’.

The entire zone is under surveillance and the department has sent fifty serum samples and 41 cloacal samples 10 to the laboratory. However, the government release clarifies that no “unusual mortality has been observed among the poultry and birds” in surrounding villages that fall under the surveillance zone.

Sanitation work

The Union government had notified an outbreak in this institute on October 25. Following this, the CPDO has initiated sanitisation activity in the unit and as of Sunday an entire unit had been completely sanitised. “The remaining sheds will be sanitised soon and disinfection procedures will be followed,” the release said, adding that 78 officers and staff were involved in this. 

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