BENGALURU: Unlike the 2012 bird flu cases in Hesaraghatta where the disease had affected turkeys, ducks and broiler chickens, this time the disease has affected a country chicken that was found in a private poultry shop, which is shocking according to animal husbandry officials. In 2012, the disease had spread in a government-owned farm run by the Central Poultry Development Organisation and Training Institute.
Dr M T Manjunath, Director, Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services, said, “Unlike in 2012, H5N1 now has been detected in a desi breed.
The previous outbreak was in a government farm, but this is in a private shop, which is peculiar. We have identified 942 birds in the infected zone of 1km and have culled 71 so far. According to the containment protocol, we have to bury them in a deep pit and apply layers of lime and soil to prevent infection.”
He said they were trying to trace the transporters who pool birds, act as a mediator between farmers and poultry shop owners to understand where these birds came from. “We are trying to locate one such farmer in Kanakapura taluk. The police and tahsildar are also on the job,” he said.
On Wednesday, an interdepartmental meeting between the Additional Chief Secretary, department of Health and Family Welfare, Principal Secretary, Animal Husbandry, deputy commissioners of urban district and BBMP officials was held to take stock of the situation. For the next two months, samples of birds will be sent to the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory in Bhopal every fortnight. If all these samples come negative then the 1 km radius around Dasarahalli that has been declared as infected zone and the 10km radius surveillance zone will be declared infection-free.“We haven’t had a single bird flu case in humans in India. After Hesaraghatta, there were scares in Hospet and Mysuru Zoo as recent as in March last year, but there was no human transmission reported,” he said.