Haryana to cull 166,128 poultry birds

Chandigarh, Jan 8 (IANS) The Haryana government on Friday declared the area within the radius of one km from two poultry farms in Panchkula district where birds tested avian influenza (H5N8), as “infected zone” and announced culling of 166,128 birds, state Animal Husbandry Minister J.P. Dalal said.

The state has restricted the movement of poultry goods from these areas.

Adhering to the guidelines, 166,128 birds of five poultry farms that fall within the one km radius of the two infected farms will be culled to prevent further spread of the disease, he said.

Noting that the state government is concerned towards the effect on poultry business in the state, Dalal said said clinical investigations were carried out as soon as the state was apprised about the unusual death of birds in the poultry farms in Panchkula.

During the investigations, it came to light that around four lakh birds have died in poultry farms in the last one month, and samples of these dead birds were initially sent to the Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Jalandhar, he said.

Due to delay in the report, the samples were sent to the National Institute of High Security Animal Disease in Bhopal.

As per its report, birds of two poultry farms were infected with avian influenza (H5N8).

He said though this bird flu strain is less pathogenic, the state has issued a notification for the affected poultry farms as a precautionary measure.

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Wednesday that it had deployed multi-disciplinary teams to avian influenza-affected Panchkula district.

Avian influenza viruses have been circulating worldwide for centuries with four known major outbreaks recorded in the last century. India notified the first outbreak in 2006.

In India, the disease spreads mainly through migratory birds coming into the country during the winter months, i.e., from September-October to February-March.

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