Avian influenza returns to India
Poultry farmers are asked to be on alert for signs of avian influenza and to take precautions as the disease has re-emerged in poultry in the state of Karnataka
District Collector of Bidar, V. Dakshinamoorthy, said that farmers should spray chlorine dioxide on the ground outside poultry buildings to prevent the virus spread. A total of 45 rapid tesponse teams, including veterinarians, are monitoring the almost 1,000 poultry farms in the district of Bidar. Wheels of all vehicles entering and leaving farms should be sprayed, he added, and all movements of poultry and eggs are being monitored by officials.
These measures are being imposed after avian flu was confirmed at one farm near Melkara village in the district of Bidar on May 8. According to an earlier report in The Hindu, 34,000 birds died at the farm over the previous month, including 8,000 on April 17 alone. The culling of 140,000 birds at the farm has been authorized by officials to control the disease. The process, due to be completed on May 11, was delayed for at least a day due to bad weather.
No human cases of the disease have been reported.
India poultry farms already had other problems
A report in The Times of India highlights that Karnataka’s poultry farmers were already struggling with drought and acute water scarcity before the outbreak of bird flu. News of the outbreak sent poultry product sales tumbling by 20-25 percent.
President of the Karnataka Poultry Farmers' and Breeders' Association, K.S. Ashok Kumar, told the newspaper that migratory birds are more of a threat to human health through transmitting avian influenza than the poultry industry. He added that, following a previous bird flu scare a few years ago, most farmers in the organized poultry sector have taken up bio-security measures to prevent the virus from entering their poultry houses and infecting their birds. Bidar district is under the flyway for migrating birds, he said.
India poultry banned in Kuwait
India’s Parliament was informed earlier this week that Kuwait had imposed a ban on imports of poultry products from India following a previous outbreak of avian flu in a on January 4, reports Economic Times. This trade was worth INR11.5 million (US$172,000) for the period December 2015-February 2016.
In January, there was an outbreak of avian influenza in Tripura state, in which more than 8,000 chickens and ducks were culled. Tripura is located in the far northeast of the country.