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Bird-flu detected in 17 villages along Tripura-Bangladesh border
April 07, 2008 11:54 IST
As many as 17 villages along the Tripura-Bangladesh border in Kamalpur division of north Tripura have been affected by avian influenza.
Official sources in Agartala said on Monday that authorities had issued restrictions on the movement of poultry products through the villages.
State Animal Resource Development officials said the Animal Diseases Diagnostic Laboratory, Bhopal, had confirmed the flu strain in bird samples, sent on April 1 following unnatural deaths of thousands of birds in the area, but the report of the second consignment had not yet been received.
ARD officials held several rounds of meetings with Dhalai district administration and public representatives besides veterinary experts, following the initial authentication of the H5N1 virus in the bordering areas and decided to launch culling operations from Tuesday after getting the final report from ADDL.
"The initial reports of both the Belgachhia Regional Animal Diseases Diagnostic Centre, Kolkata, and ADDL, Bhopal, have indicated that a few parameters of the tests found the H5N1 strain in the birds, but did not recommend any alert yet," a senior official of the ARD said.
The preventive medicines for the culling staff reached Agartala on Monday morning and about 15 teams have already been constituted for culling operations, while health officials would also distribute preventive medicines among the villagers to contain the spread of the disease, the officials added.
The villagers had reportedly been noticing abnormal tiredness among the birds, both domestic and wild, and they died subsequently.
More than 3,000 chickens, ducks, crows and other wild birds had died in the area while several dogs and jackals, which had consumed the affected birds, were also found dead.
Earlier, the detection of avian influenza in chickens at the small poultry farms in Moulabibazar district of Bangladesh had prompted the Tripura government to take measures to stop the movement of poultry products between the two countries as well as preventive measures to check the possible spread of the disease.
The Tripura government has announced compensation to the villagers of bordering areas in the northern part of the state, where more than 3,000 domestic birds died during the past fortnight following outbreak of bird flu in poultry farms. State Animal Resource Development Minister Aghore Debbarma said the government had decided to pay Rs 75 and Rs 30 for each affected big and small size local breed while Rs 50 and Rs 20 would be paid for each affected big and small size broiler and layer chicken and duck to the villagers. Besides, additional Rs 2 would be paid for each egg destroyed.
Meanwhile, about 100 culling personnel have been sent to Kamalpur along with preventive medicines and culling equipment had been brought from New Delhi.
"As soon as we receive the final confirmation of Avian Influenza, the culling operations would be started and about 20,000 domestic birds would be disposed of by next two days, as per the initial estimate, but the number may be increased subsequently," ARD Director Dr A Roy Barman said.
He pointed out that additional security forces had been deployed to maintain peace in the area during culling operations and the department had held meetings with the local panchayats and political leaders to spread awareness about the disease and sought help in culling operations.