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Bird flu: Assam on tight vigil
K Anurag in Guwahati | January 18, 2008 12:06 IST
Assam has instructed its bordering districts to keep a tight vigil and not to allow poultry products from the neighbouring West Bengal, where an outbreak of avian influenza has been reported.
Assam veterinary and animal husbandry department has sounded alert in Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Dhubri and Goalpara districts of Assam, which have borders with West Bengal.
The All-Assam Poultry Farmers' Association has demanded a "total ban' on supply of poultry products from West Bengal. The association in a meeting with the state veterinary department underscored the need for imposition of such a drastic ban.
"Although there has been no report of an outbreak of the deadly virus from any part of the state till date, poultry farmers are apprehensive that products from West Bengal may spread the disease in the state," poultry farmers association officials said.
It is estimated that 14,000 kg of poultry products from West Bengal reach various North-East markets via Guwahati every day.
Department's deputy secretary RK Sarma said that there was no need for panic since the state was fully prepared to tackle any eventuality.
Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) have been formed in all border districts where alert has already been sounded. Masks and other equipment to face possible outbreak of the avian flu have also been supplied to the RRTs.
The regional disease diagnostic laboratory of the Assam Veterinary Department at Khanapara has been upgraded.