Can’t interfere with culling amid bird flu, says Bombay HC

The Aurangabad Bench of the Bombay High Court in a recent order refused to interfere with the culling of birds in poultry farms as “curtailing the spread of bird flu certainly would be a priority and a task to be done at war footing”. The court said the decision solely rested with authorities.

A Division Bench of Justices S.V. Gangapurwala and Shrikant Kulkarni on February 18 was hearing two petitions filed by Ashraf Poultry Farm and Pioneer Poultry Farm, which were sealed on February 4. The owners challenged an order passed by authorities directing the culling of birds and destruction of eggs in their farms.

The petitioners’ counsel said their farms were located one kilometre away from a farm where cases of bird flu were detected. He said the authorities directed culling despite birds at the petitioners’ farms testing negative several times. He said declaring a 2.5 km radius from the affected farm as an infected zone would cause losses to farms in the area.

The assistant government pleader said the authorities took the decision as infected birds were found in 21 farms in the vicinity of the petitioners’ farms. He said the petitioners claimed their farms lay beyond one kilometre from the infected farms, but areas within 2.5 km from the infected poultry were declared as infected zone and up to 10 km as surveillance zone. He said the decision was taken to safeguard the life and health of the general public.

The Bench said, “The authorities ought not to have taken drastic steps of culling the birds. We may not interfere in the said process. It would be the decision of the authorities based on the advice of experts regarding steps to be taken to curtail spread of infection.”

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 1:52:51 AM |

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