West Bengal, Assam, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh to observe strict surveillance

The Centre on Wednesday sounded ‘high alert’ in border States against avian influenza after outbreak of the dreaded poultry disease in Bhutan.

Thousands of birds have been culled in Bhutan after the outbreak, which is yet to be controlled. Earlier this month, samples of affected birds were sent to India’s High Security Animal Disease Lab in Bhopal and they tested positive.

West Bengal, Assam, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh have been warned to observe strict surveillance along their border with Bhutan to ensure that no poultry is smuggled or imported from across the border. Veterinary officers have been asked to do special surveillance of the live poultry markets in the border areas.

People in these States have huge poultry farms in their backyard threatening huge populations of the birds in the event of an outbreak of the influenza.

In India, there was an outbreak last October near Bangalore in Karnataka.