As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Tuesday 30 October 2012

Bird flu contained, epicentre being sanitised, authorities say

No cases in BBMP limits, but strict vigil on: Chief Health Officer

Sanitation work at the Central Poultry Development Organisation (CPDO) at Hesaraghatta — where at least 3,600 turkeys reportedly have died of avian influenza in the last fortnight — is on even as more blood samples have been sent to the Animal Disease Laboratory in Bhopal and the Institute of Animal Health and Veterinary Biologicals here.

Focus on bird litter
Apart from blood, authorities are now checking water, birdfeed, bird litter and feather samples with a special focus on bird litter, which spreads the virus fast, sources said. While no fresh cases of bird death due to avian influenza have been reported, a strict vigil has been kept on other birds at the CPDO, which has about 19,000 poultry, 350 emus and 13,500 ducks. Of the turkeys, the remaining 700 or so have been culled.

“Sanitation work has been taken up at the turkey unit and the cleaning is expected to be completed within the next two days,” a senior CPDO official told The Hindu, without elaborating much.

With the sanitation work under way, including sprinkling of DDT, the CPDO has barred visitors while employees continued their work wearing masks and caps. On Saturday too, veterinarians were taking random blood samples from the birds.

Arvind Jannu, Principal Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, said so far the virus had been contained within the farm and authorities were reviewing the situation daily. Surveillance teams were going around a 10-km radius of the CPDO, declared as alert zone. Poultry farms in this zone had been directed not to get any new birds.

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