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Tamil Nadu cautiously watching bird flu spread


Chennai : The southern state of Tamil Nadu, a major poultry breeding state in the country, is cautiously watching the outbreak of bird flu in West Bengal.

“We are not taking any chances,” said Minister for Animal Husbandry Geetha Jeevan, adding that all joint directors of her department have been asked to closely monitor the H5N1 virus outbreak in West Bengal.

The minister said Tamil Nadu has 200 rapid response teams manned by 2,500 trained people to handle any possible contingency and scare.

The National Egg Coordination Committee has, in the meanwhile, asked the union government to create exclusive poultry zones in places like Nammakkal and step up measures for prevention of bird flu in such zones.

NECC chairperson Anuradha Desai has issued a statement asking poultry farmers not to panic.

The poultry industry contributes Rs.360 billion to the national economy and employs 3.5 million people.

Union Agriculture Minister Shard Pawar said that India has not received any advisory on its exports being banned from the OIE (World Animal Health Organisation) and the International Egg Commission.