KOLKATA: An organisation of poultry farm owners in West Bengal has asked its members to be on alert in the wake of a bird flu outbreak in various parts of the country and take preventive measures to avoid the spread of the infection, an official said on Thursday.
The alert was sounded as a precautionary measure amid reports of the bird flu in some states, though not a single case of Avian influenza has been detected here so far, West Bengal Poultry Federation general secretary Madan Mohan Maity.
The Centre on Wednesday said the Avian influenza outbreak, has been reported at 12 epicentres in four states -- Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh.
Advisories have been issued to contain further spread of the infection in poultry ducks, crows and migratory birds, the Union Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying said.
"No bird flu case has been reported in West Bengal and its neighbouring states. With reports of the Avian influenza outbreak in various parts of the country, we have sounded an alert to our members.
"We also asked them to take all the precautionary measures like spraying of disinfectants, and maintain hygiene protocols," Maity told PTI.
He said there was no need to panic, and Andhra Pradesh, which supplies eggs to West Bengal, remained free from the bird flu outbreak.
The state animal husbandry department officials could not be reached for their comments.
Maity said there has been "no impact on consumption" of poultry products as of now.
"If the spread of bird flu is not contained, people will start avoiding consumption of poultry products, which could impact the sector adversely," he said.
Prices of egg and chicken could plunge if demand for such products falls in the wake of the bird flu spread.
Broiler chicken prices are now ruling at Rs 175-200 per kg, while eggs are sold Rs 6.5-7 per piece in the state.
West Bengal produces two crore eggs daily as against its consumption of 2.5 crore, Maity said.
Broiler meat production in the state is about 2.5 crore kgs per week, higher than its consumption of two crore kgs.