CHENNAI: Following the outbreak of avian influenza H5N1 in parts of Kerala, the Animal Husbandry Department (AHD) in Tamil Nadu on Thursday emphasised that it was mandatory for poultry farmers and traders to obtain a ‘No Disease Certificate’ from AHD before transporting poultry and poultry related products. The ‘No Disease Certificate’ has always been mandatory but it has become all the more imperative in the wake of avian influenza breaking out in Kerala.
“We have been insisting that poultry farmers and traders obtain the ‘No Disease Certificate’ before transporting poultry and poultry related products to other states. Only vehicles with such a certificate will be cleared at check posts,” regional joint director of AHD, Dr P Sakthivel said on Thursday. Tamil Nadu check-post staff have been instructed to ensure vehicles have the clearance certificate before entering TN, he added.
Government officials have begun inspecting poultry farms to ensure all precautionary measures are being adhered to, including setting up of footpaths, proper disposal of carcasses and cleanliness of the vicinities. AHD is also monitoring bird sanctuaries, backyard poultry farms and wildlife spots.
While the number of vehicles transporting poultry and allied products from Kerala to Tamil Nadu has come down after the flu alert, vehicles ferrying these products were also being subjected to thorough checks. All vehicles ferrying poultry products are now being sprayed with chemicals in order to check the spread of bird flu. Four teams comprising veterinary doctors, livestock inspectors and AHD officials, were monitoring entry points on the borders of TN and Kerala, said Joint Director of Animal Husbandry S Gengaraj.
Meanwhile, the State Health Department has issued a ‘preparedness alert’ to all hospitals and medical colleges across the State. Government hospitals have been asked to conduct screening of people with flu-like symptoms. The Animal Husbandry Department has opened a 24x7 control room at the Central Research Laboratory, Saidapet. To access the control room, call 044-24339097 and 944 503 2504. Meanwhile, egg prices could tumble because of the Kerala factor. At present, the price is stable at `3.76 per egg.