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Culling operations in Navapur to be over by Monday evening
February 20, 2006 12:05 IST
Last Updated: February 20, 2006 12:57 IST
Culling operations of chickens in poultry farms at Navapur tehsil in Nandurbar district will be completed by Monday evening, Maharashtra Animal Husbandry Minister Anees Ahmed said Monday.
"So far, we have buried over 30,000 birds," the minister told PTI from Navapur.
Ahmed said Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, who was scheduled to visit Navapur Monday, has changed his programme.
Now, Deshmukh will be only conducting an aerial survey of the affected area and addressing officials at the Nandurbar district headquarters, the minister said.
Ahmed said population from 19 villages in the 3-km radius of Navapur was under strict surveillance of medical experts with door-to-door survey being conducted for any flu symptoms, while isolation ward has been raised at Navapur to treat any suspected bird flu case.
As a precautionary measure, the state has directed that chicken and poultry products in the state are not transported to markets in any part of the state without being certified by specialists. A team of nearly 300 veterinary and medical experts is camping at Navapur, he said.
However, even as government expressed confidence that the culling operations would be finished by Monday evening, a minister and officials said lack of machinery and inadequate manpower have affected the pace of "selective killing" in the bird flu-hit Navapur.
Minister for Animal Husbandry Anees Ahmed said that machinery for culling birds was "inadequate and steps were being taken to speed up the process".
Lack of machines required to dig pits for burying birds with suspected bird flu has hit the pace of culling of chickens.
Also, manpower required for culling of birds was indequate, officials said.
Meanwhile, the condition of two persons admitted to a hospital in Navapur with symptoms of avian influenza was stable, sources said.
Two persons-- a mother and her son -- were hospitalised with suspected symptoms and quarantined Sunday, doctors said adding, their condition was stable and was being monitored.
The reports of the blood samples are awaited, doctors said.
Except for these two cases, there are no fresh cases of persons with these symptoms, they added.
However, poultry workers are badly hit with authorities closing down 49 poultry farms and culling birds.
Poonambhai Vora, member of Poultry Farm Association, told PTI that compensation announced by the government was less and added, the outbreak should be treated as a calamity.
He also demanded that culling should be restricted to the area within 3-km radius of Navapur, hit by bird flu.
As of now, the government was culling birds in poultry farms located within 10-km radius, he said.
Meanwhile, unhygienic conditions prevailed at places where culled birds were buried with foul smell pervading all around.
The central government has sent samples of chickens suspected to have contracted bird flu to a London laboratory, considering a demand made by poultry farm owners to have a second opinion.
Earlier, the high security animal diseases laboratory in Bhopal had said that some samples from Navapur had tested positive for strains of the H5N1 bird flu virus.