Chicken culling to begin today

Chicken culling to begin today

As soon as reports of an outbreak of H5N1 virus at a poultry farm in Molkera village in Humnabad taluk broke out, officials on Monday started making preparations to cull the birds.

Around 1.5 lakh chickens are said to be infected with the Avian Influenza and will be culled in the next 2 to 3 days beginning Tuesday.

The 50 culling teams which were formed, cleared an area in a 500 to 1,000-metre radius near the private farm. Teams are being trained and given disinfectant apparel for culling. The carcasses would be dumped in a huge pit excavated near the farm’s gate, officials supervising the operation said. The farm was cordoned off.

Animal Husbandry department officials, comprising joint directors Dr Jambgi, Dr M T Manjunath and Dr Venkatesh, visited the district to take stock of the situation.

They visited Arunodaya Farm and other farms in the area. They will also assist the local team led by Animal Husbandry Deputy Director Govind.

An area of 1 km radius would be first disinfected where birds in farms would be culled and the action would be extended to other farms nearby. Birds in a radius of 10 km would be tested every 15 days and based on the report, they would be culled.

The district administration has banned sale and transportation of chicken within a radius of 1 km of the farm. Teams were also deputed to the Maharashtra and Telangana borders.
 
Officials said hundreds of birds were dying for no apparent reason since April 19 at Arunodaya Farm owned by one Ramesh Gupta. Initially, Gupta suspected they were dying of extreme heat. When the number of deaths became unusually high, he alerted officials of the Animal Husbandry department. Officials then sent blood and other samples to the Institute of High Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal, which confirmed Avian Influenza. Animal Husbandry Minister A Manju confirmed this to the meda on Sunday.

Humnabad MLA Rajshekar Patil was visibly perturbed over the developments on Monday and visited the farm with veterinary and revenue officials. Expressing shock, he said he has spoken to Minister A Manju and senior officials of the department and urged to take all necessary measures to prevent further spread of the virus.

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