MANGALURU: With avian flu reported in Kerala and Ballari in Karnataka, the border areas of Karnataka including Mangaluru are on alert. At an emergency meeting held under the chairmanship of Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada, a slew of measures have been ordered.
Trains and vehicles ferrying chicken loads from Kerala to Mangaluru are being monitored. The city is the largest consumer of chicken from Kerala, while Bengaluru gets its chicken from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh and local chicken farms.
Officials at check posts at Talapady have been ordered to keep a check on the trucks carrying chicken to Mangaluru and chicken farms have been told to ‘sanitise’ the trucks before they load chicken.
“The farm owners should curtail unnecessary movement of human beings in their farms, maintain absolute hygiene and those who vend chicken inside the city and the outskirts need to maintain cleanliness in their establishments,” observed Dr K G Jagadeesha, a veterinarian.
Deputy Director of the animal husbandry Dr Thippeswamy said, “Consumers of chicken and eggs also need to take care and properly cook the meat and boil the eggs before consuming. We have sent an advisory to all the stakeholders in the chicken trade to report unnatural deaths of birds to the department. They should allow our inspectors and food safety officials to inspect the maintenance of hygiene in their establishments and co-operate.”
Following the alert, chicken traders in Mangaluru have stopped buying chicken from Kerala-based suppliers.
Sudhakar Shetty, a major market functionary told Express: “The animal husbandry department of Kerala has advised that avian flu is yet to be contained in a few districts. We are watching the situation closely”.
The market, however, has not shown any erratic fluctuations in supply so far, as the local stocks are sufficient to tide over the demand for next few days.
Officials in the animal husbandry department in Dakshina Kannada have sensitised the market about avian flu in the neighbouring state.
Dakshina Kannada was also a good market for suppliers from Shivamogga, Hassan and Chikkamagaluru.
“In case supplies from Kerala are affected for a long time, we can always buy from these districts. However, that will cost us a little more than the stock from Kerala,” said Shetty.