Post flu, avian life to be back at central poultry by Dec

Green signal to repopulate bird varieties; 1st consignment arrives

Post flu, avian life to be back at central poultry by Dec

The Central Poultry Development Organisation (CPDO) at Hesaraghatta is presently in the process of rebooting all its activities since the avian flu outbreak in October 2012.

It will be ready with its first commercial batch of poultry by December this year.
Nearly nine months after the virus was first detected, there are clear signs of avian life coming back at the centre. For example, the buildings at gate number two, which house the duck unit, are being painted and renovated to welcome the new batch of poultry.

“We are in a way beginning from scratch. Various training activities for farmers and entrepreneurs will begin this month and for government officers, it will start from September. The first commercial batch will be ready by December,” confirmed deputy director, CPDO, Dr P S Mahesh.      

The centre, at present, has been given clearance to repopulate the chicken and duck varieties of poultry and already two consignments from the CPDO at Bhubaneswar are with the centre. Another consignment from the CPDO at Chandigarh is due.

“Subsequently, we will bring in more consignments, as and when we finish working on the present batch,” said Mahesh. Each consignment comprises approximately 5,000 parent hatching eggs. At the time of the outbreak of the flu, the centre had to cull all its stock of poultry. As many as 33,000 birds comprising of  chicken, ducks, turkeys and emus, were culled, causing a loss of crores of rupees to the centre.
The flu outbreak was reported in October and the centre got a sanitisation certificate from the State government by November 14, said Mahesh.

Mandatory steps

“Even after the certificate, we took mandatory steps in testing for remnants of the virus by putting 50 chicks each in 50 different sheds and collecting samples from them in zero days, then 12 days and then 21 days. The samples were then sent to the Southern Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, Bangalore and to the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory, Bhopal, where it tested normal,” said Mahesh.
The Central government has issued more “specific and sharp” biosecurity guidelines like construction of barriers around farms and use of masks, to be followed at all poultry farms in the private and public sectors, to prevent outbreaks in future.

At the time of the outbreak, the centre had declared an alert zone of 10 km radius within which the sale and preparation of chicken was prohibited. Even though this prohibition was lifted soon after the sanitation certificate was issued, traders around CPDO continue to feel its effects.

Sridhar H S, a poultry trader from Hesaraghatta village, has not been earning as much as he used to, after the avian flu outbreak. He is pinning his hopes on the rejuvenation of activities at the centre. 

He used to sell around 200 kg of chicken on Sundays and around 60 kg to 70 kg on weekdays that roughly translated to a business of about Rs 50,000 per week. “Now I earn around Rs 30,000 by selling 130 kg to 140 kg on Sundays and around 40 kg on other days,” Sridhar said.

“There are around 11 to 12 traders here, but it is the same story even with them. We hope that once the activities at the centre pick up and news about the same reaches the public, we will be back in business,” Sridhar said.

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