Alert sounded in 68 villages in 10-km radius of CPDO

Following the death of 3,600 turkeys in 13 days at the Central Poultry Development Organisation (CPDO) at Hesarghatta, near here, the State government has sounded an avian influenza alert. Declaring an area within a 10-km radius of the CPDO an alert zone, the government has prohibited preparation and sale of chicken dishes in eateries.

Minister for Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services Revu Naik Belamagi told presspersons here on Friday that the CPDO had culled 700 turkeys. However, other species of birds on the 150-acre campus, including poultry and emu, did not show signs of avian influenza.

People need not panic as the influenza has not spread as of now, he added. Besides turkeys, the CPDO has about 13,500 ducks, 19,000 poultry and 350 emus.

According to Principal Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services, Aravind Jannu, following continuous deaths of turkeys, the CPDO sent samples of blood to the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory, Bhopal, which confirmed avian influenza.

Following this, department officers visited the CPDO and conducted preliminary survey. The Chief Secretary convened a high-level meeting on October 24 which was attended by personnel from the Health and Police departments and the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike. The meeting decided to sound alert in 68 villages in the 10-km radius of the CPDO and create awareness among the people about avian influenza commonly called bird flu, Mr. Jannu said.

Mr. Belamagi said the Bangalore District Deputy Commissioner issued a notification on October 25 enforcing the guidelines circulated by the Union government especially with regard to closure of egg and chicken meat shops. Movement of poultry and poultry products from and into the alert zone has been prohibited and police bandobust has been put in place. People have been advised to inform the department if there are any turkey deaths. The Minister informed presspersons that control rooms have been opened to monitor the spread of the disease and nodal officers have been appointed and 25 rapid response teams formed for culling birds, if required. Mr. Jannu said since birds within the alert zone are not showing any signs of influenza, culling has not been undertaken for the present. If the birds are culled, farmers will be compensated, he added.

Mr. Jannu said that there was no cause for concern as there have been no reports of human deaths from across the country and situation is under control. Movement of people in the 10-km radius of the CPDO is restricted. The zone has about 15 commercial poultry farms and about 1.5 lakh poultry population.

Meanwhile, a senior official at the CPDO told The Hindu that the organisation has regularly been sending blood samples of the livestock on daily basis to the Bhopal laboratory.

Control rooms

The control room at the office of the Commissioner, Animal Husbandry, can be reached on 080-22863260; the one at State Livestock Breeding and Training Centre, Hesarghatta, can be reached on 080-28466397 and the control room at the Deputy Director’s office in Bangalore Urban can be reached on 080-23418327.

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