Home Economy Orissa bans poultry imports from West Bengal

Orissa bans poultry imports from West Bengal


Bhubaneswar : Orissa has banned poultry imports from the neighbouring state of West Bengal following confirmation of the outbreak of the deadly H5N1 virus of bird flu in that state.

“Although we generally do not import any poultry items from West Bengal we have imposed the ban to ensure safety,” state director of animal husbandry Bishnupada Sethi said Thursday.

The Bhopal-based High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL) Tuesday confirmed an outbreak of bird flu in Birbhum and South Dinajpur districts of West Bengal.

Sethi told IANS that bird flu is unlikely to spread to Orissa as the places affected by the virus in West Bengal are far from the Orissa border. However, the state government is taking all precautionary measures to meet any eventuality and imposed the ban on poultry imports from West Bengal Wednesday.

Orissa imports poultry items from Andhra Pradesh and sends poultry items to West Bengal. The export of such items to the state will continue, he said.

“The state government has alerted all district collectors following the outbreak of bird flu in West Bengal,” Orissa Animal Husbandry Minister Golak Nayak told IANS.

Migratory birds from as far away as the Caspian Sea, the Aral Sea, Siberia, the steppes of Mongolia, Central and Southeastern Asia, Ladakh and the Himalayas flock to at least four sites of the state every winter.

The sites are Chilika Lake in Khordha district, Hirakud dam in Sambalpur district, the Nandankanan Biological Park near here and Bhitarkanika National Park in Kendrapada district.

Chilika Divisional Forest Officer Abhimanyu Behera told IANS that at least 22 migratory birds were found dead in the world-famous Chilika Lake, about 100 km from here, in the past week.

“We did not find any symptoms of bird flu in those birds. However, we collected blood samples and sent them to the HSADL at Bhopal for testing. The report has not yet come,” he said.