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Bihar bans import of poultry from neighbouring states
Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna | January 22, 2008 11:40 IST
The Bihar governmen has banned the import of poultry including chicken and eggs from neighbouring states in the wake of bird flu in West Bengal.
Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi confirmed on Tuesday that government has put a blanket ban on the import of chicken and eggs from the neighbouring states.
"All the bordering routes are sealed to totally restrict any movement to bring poultry items to Bihar," said Modi, who is also minister of the animal husbandry department.
The fear of bird flu haunts the people of Bihar's districts bordering West Bengal. The administration has sounded an alert and has initiated precautionary measures to check the entry of the deadly virus in the state.
After the confirmation of bird flu in West Bengal, people are in panic in bordering districts of Purnia, Kishanganj, Katihar, Araria and Bhagalpur.
"The district administration of Kishanganj, Purnia, Araria and Katihar have been put on high alert," official sources in state animal husbandry department said.
However, the state government categorically stated on Turesday that there was no threat of bird flu in Bihar thanks to timely vaccination of the birds. Besides, no cases of bird flu has been reported in the state.
The sale of chickens and eggs has drastically fallen in these districts in the wake of bird flu in West Bengal.
"Most of the people have stopped consuming chickens and eggs after doctors cautioned them," a district administration official in Purnia said.
District Magistrate of Kishanganj Sridhar Cherevellu said the administration had been alerted and precautionary have been taken.
"There is no need of panic in the district," he said.
Bihar's Kishanganj and Katihar areas share borders with the West Bengal districts of Birbhum and Dinazpur, worst affected by bird flu.
Similarly NH-34 from Kolkata to Silliguri passes through Dalkola and Kishanganj. It was reported that some trucks carried chickens and eggs through NH -34 in last few days.
The government has also banned all private vehicles carrying chickens from West Bengal, official sources said.
In Bhagalpur, which mainly depends on West Bengal for supply of poultry products, the administration initiated measures to prevent the spread of bird flu.
"Measures have been initiated for decontamination of both government and private poultry farms," Anil Kumar, assistant manager, regional poultry farm, Bhagalpur, said.
However, Dr A K Sinha, medical consultant, said there was a perceptible threat of bird flu in these districts because of migratory birds, which were being hunted and sold by some people.
Kishanganj Civil Surgeon Shabbir Ahmad said Kishanganj Medical College and Hospital was put on alert to face any crisis in case of virus infection among human beings.
"The hospital was fully prepared and ready to provide necessary treatment if any symptoms were found in humans," he said.
They directed the poultry industry to ensure utmost caution in processing chicken before it hits the market for consumer consumption. Sale of chickens and eggs dropped in Patna in last few days and the demand for mutton increased.