BHUBANESWAR : Odisha government on Thursday set up a State-level control room and issued advisory to all districts to intensify active surveillance and monitoring of birds after around 120 chickens were found dead at a poultry farm in Khurda district. Although not a single case of bird flu has been detected in the State so far, the Fisheries and Animal Resources Development (FARD) department has asked all Collectors, Chief District Veterinary Officers (CDVOs) and Divisional Forest Officers to be vigilant and continuously observe any unnatural deaths and behaviour of birds.
A State-level special supervisory team (SST) along with the district level rapid response teams (RRTs) rushed to Govindpur village under Begunia block where poultry birds were reported dead to take stock of the situation. FARD Secretary R Raghu Prasad said five of the dead birds were taken to Animal Disease Research Institute (ADRI) for laboratory investigation.
All five samples have tested negative for avian influenza virus. Rest of the dead birds were buried in deep burial method with proper disinfection measures, he said. The SST and RRTs have sanitised the farm premises with disinfectants.
There is no other case of bird deaths in the surrounding areas of the farm. However, more samples have been taken from adjoining areas for testing, Prasad informed. Nine SSTs have been constituted at the State level to immediately proceed to any suspected location of avian influenza in the State. All CDVOs have been directed to constitute 10 to 15 RRTs at the district level for prompt response to any reports of suspected case of bird flu.
Veterinary officials will keep a tab on water bodies like Chilika lake, Anshupa lake, Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary and Hirakud dam where large concentration of migratory birds is observed during winter. All testing laboratories have been alerted for collection and testing of tracheal and cloacal swabs besides the serum samples of birds.
While 11,000 samples have tested negative for Avian Influenza so far, 300 samples were collected and sent for testing on Thursday. Since the migratory birds are the carriers of avian influenza that spreads through faecal droppings, shared feed and drinking water of the birds, the department has opened a State level control room headed by the Joint Director (Disease Control) and urged people to report about any unusual mortality of birds occurring in flocks. People have been urged not to panic and they can consume chicken meat, eggs and other poultry products after proper cooking.