Tripura, Mizoram on bird flu alert

Friday, February 25, 2011

AIZAWL/AGARTALA - Mizoram Friday sounded a bird flu alert following the outbreak of the avian influenza in neighbouring Tripura and also in Myanmar and Bangladesh, which border the state.

The authorities in Tripura, after the fresh cases of bird flu, have culled more than 6,000 ducks and poultry birds and are now busy with mopping, cleaning and disinfecting.

“The Mizoram government Friday imposed a ban on import of poultry birds, ducks and other poultry products from outside the state, especially the bird flu-hit neighbouring state of Tripura and Myanmar and Bangladesh,” L.B. Sailo, animal husbandry and veterinary director, told reporters in Aizawl.

He said the Mizoram government has set up check gates at the border and entry points, and asked officials and security forces to maintain a strict vigil along the boundaries to prevent the import of poultry and poultry products.

Bird flu was officially detected and confirmed in Sittwe district of Myanmar last month.

Media reports said thousands of poultry birds and ducks either died or were culled by the authorities after an outbreak of the deadly avian influenza in Bangladesh too.

Tripura and adjacent Mizoram share 856-km and 318-km long borders respectively with Bangladesh while Mizoram has a 404-km international boundary with Myanmar. Most parts of the international boundaries are unfenced and porous.

Sailo said: “Even though, no case of avian influenza has been detected in Mizoram, the government has decided to continue close surveillance over the situation and has imposed a ban on the import of poultry products to prevent the spread of the disease in the state.”

“Veterinary officials across Mizoram have been instructed to examine any case of mysterious death of birds and at once send the samples to the laboratories,” the official said.

The authorities in Tripura, after culling more than 6,000 ducks and poultry birds in western Tripura, have sounded a bird flu alert and intensified surveillance across the bordering state.

With a fresh outbreak of bird flu at the Radha Kishore Nagar government farm, 25 km north of Agartala, in western Tripura, the Tripura government has taken a series of measures to check the spread of the deadly disease in other areas.

“After culling operations, the mopping, cleaning, disinfection processes have also been completed at the government-run firm and adjoining three-four villages. Now our officials have been maintaining special observations in these areas and other parts of the state,” Tripura animal resource development department joint director Jyotirmoy Chakraborty told IANS.

The Tripura government has also imposed a ban on import of poultry birds, ducks and other poultry products from outside the state.

A central team from the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) in Uttar Pradesh and another from the North Eastern Region Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (NERDDL) in Assam have visited Tripura since last week and provided necessary assistance to the state officials.

Tripura was affected by avian influenza in April and May 2008, forcing the authorities to cull over 200,000 poultry birds then.

Filed under: Medicine

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