The ban on import of poultry and poultry products from Karnataka following the outbreak of bird flu has been conditionally lifted from Monday noon. However, the ban on poultry manure will continue.
The restrictions on import of poultry and poultry products from neighbouring States were introduced last month in the wake of an outbreak of bird flu reported from a government-run farm at Hasserghatta, near Bangalore. On November 5, the government had lifted the ban on import of poultry and eggs from Tamil Nadu after the Department of Animal Husbandry confirmed that no case of bird flu had been reported from that State.
A press note issued by the office of the Minister for Animal Husbandry K.P. Mohanan here on Monday said the ban on imports from Karnataka was being conditionally lifted following a high-level meeting to assess the situation. It said the decision was taken after experts had confirmed that bird flu had been contained to the farm and the time frame for transmission of the virus was over.
However, the import of poultry and poultry goods from Karnataka will be governed by certain conditions. Each consignment will have to be certified by the district veterinary officer that it had originated from a place free of bird flu. A copy of the certificate would have to be submitted at the border checkpoint while the driver of the vehicle would have to carry another copy carrying the signature and seal of the officer in charge of the checkpoint.
The ban on import of poultry manure will continue until further orders. Animal Husbandry officials said this precaution was necessary because poultry droppings constituted the highest risk due to the concentration of virus.
Cheap and effective poultry manure is preferred by farmers as a concentrated source of crop nutrients. Being organic, it does not need composting and can be applied directly to the fields from the farm.
“It is known that infected birds shed the virus through their excreta and secretions. In farms where the poultry are reared in cages, there is no chance of the droppings being disinfected by exposure to sunlight. The manure is collected directly from the cage and loaded on to lorries for transport. This adds to the risk factor, calling for additional precautions in the case of manure,” an official said.