To protect the domesticated birds from avian influenza (popularly known as bird flu) the poultries should not be located closer to the sanctuaries frequented by the migratory birds, said V. Sampath, District Collector.

He was addressing the officials on how to prevent bird flu here on Thursday. Mr. Sampath said that the breeders should also desist from bunching together the bird species such as wild turkey, geese and chicken.

The intermingling of fowls from other places should also not be allowed, he said. Those interested in setting up poultries should get the brood stocks from the government farms and should avoid, as far as possible, procuring them from the open market.

Mr. Sampath called upon the breeders to use masks while handling the big bamboo baskets used for keeping the birds. They should also use footwear while entering the poultry farms. Before and after handling chicken, hands should be thoroughly washed. The Collector categorically said that consumption of raw and half-boiled eggs and uncooked chicken should be avoided.

The Collector said that to inspect the poultries, taluk-level monitoring committees headed by Assistant Veterinary Doctors had been formed in the district. Regional Joint Director (Animal Husbandry) K. Alagarasan and others participated.