Poultry farmers on bird flu alert
From Times of India:
HYDERABAD: The fear of bird flu has come back to haunt the poultry industry in Andhra Pradesh. With avian influenza being confirmed in Agartala in Tripura, the poultry industry in AP, which is the biggest in the country, has been put on high alert.
"We have asked poultry farmers to report any unusual and large-scale deaths so as to take the necessary measures to confirm if there is any outbreak of bird flu here," said Dr Y Thirupathaiah, additional director, planning, directorate of animal husbandry.
In 2006, bird flu fear led to losses worth crores of rupees in the state as poultry birds had to be culled in large numbers and eggs were also destroyed.
In case of any signs of bird flu in the state, the serum samples will have to be sent to the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL), Bhopal for confirmation of the virus.
According to Thirupathaiah, all poultry farmers have been educated on the bio-security measures to be taken to tackle any eventuality.
The staff of the animal husbandry department are also doing the rounds of poultry farms to detect any signs of the virus and are collecting blood samples. Though this happens on a regular basis, with the news from Agartala about the outbreak of bird flu, officials are on guard.
Nearly two-thirds of the poultry production of the country is contributed by Andhra Pradesh which is the reason for the caution.