Rajasthan steps up surveillance of poultry farms


Jaipur : With reports of bird flu resurfacing in Manipur, an alert has been sounded in Rajasthan.

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"We have sounded an alert and have asked the animal husbandry department officials to remain vigilant," Prabhulal Saini, Rajasthan's Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Minister told IANS here on Friday.

He said that surveillance teams comprising of veterinary doctors and assistants have been constituted and they have been asked to visit poultry farms and places where migratory birds come. The teams will submit their reports to the animal husbandry department on a regular basis.

The state has a big poultry industry with over 6.3 million birds, out of which the Ajmer district has over 2.5 million birds. Officials of the animal husbandry department said that to save these birds from the disease, the department has decided to inspect all the poultry farms in the state.

All the farm owners have been informed about the precautions and symptoms of the disease. There are 1,500 veterinary doctors in the state of which 900 have been trained to combat the disease.

Officials said protective equipments have been purchased in all the districts and to ensure proper safety, the government has asked officials to collect and send blood samples of some of these birds to a Bhopal based research centre.

"We have stepped up surveillance and have asked the bird keepers to report any case of death or disease to any of the birds," official said.

Culling of an estimated 160,000 birds is being carried out in a five km radius around the farm at Chenngmeirong near Imphal in Manipur where the bird flu deaths were reported July 11. Laboratory tests have confirmed the presence of H5 strains that are highly pathogenic in nature.