Admn to carry out mass culling of birds in Hajin’s infected zone

Domestic geese test +ve for H5N8; crows in Shopian

Irfan Tramboo

Srinagar, Feb 23: After district Anantnag, Bird Flu cases have now been reported from district Bandipora where domestic geese have been found positive, while as in Shopian, the samples of dead crows have tested positive for the Avian Flu.
The sample of the geese that have tested positive for the Avian Flu was collected 18 days back and was sent to a laboratory in Zakura. From the Zakura lab, the sample was sent to Ludhiana which further sent it to Bhopal for confirmation.
While the authorities are set to carry out the culling of birds in the infected areas, the officials said that the outbreak has been reported from Khar Mohalla in village Saderkoot Payeen of Block Hajin of Bandipora district.
In this regard, habitation within the one km radius from the epicentre: Khar Mohalla, Hajam Mohalla and Gojjerpati of village Saderkoot Payeen have been declared as Infected Zone.
The officials also said that the villages within the 10 km radius from the epicentre, Saderkoot Bala, Ajas, Check-Sadunara, Garoora and Nadihal have been declared as Surveillance Zone.
As per the order issued here by the Deputy Commissioner, the Chief Animal Husbandry Officer, Bandipora has been asked to act as a supervisory officer for all the technical operations in infected areas. Click here to watch video
“He shall immediately constitute and deploy the required number of Rapid Response Teams in the Infected and Surveillance zones,” the order read.
The administration has also ordered a complete ban on the inward, outward movement of all types of poultry birds and products from the infected zone.
The concerned have also been directed to close all such markets, shops that are dealing with the sale of poultry products in the infected zone.
Chief Animal Husbandry Officer, Bandipora, Dr Munir Ahmad Qadri told Excelsior that the RRT teams were already in place since the samples that tested positive were collected from the area. He also said that they would be going for mass culling of ducks and geese in the area that has been declared as infected.
“The teams have been actively working as per the SOPs; there is a population of around 500 geese and ducks in the infected zone and we would employ the method of culling them to prevent the infection from spreading further, and within the radius of 10 km, we have a population of around 4000 such birds,” he said.
He said that the culling would take place only within the infected zone and the owners of those domestic birds would be amply compensated.
“It is going to be a coordinated measure between various departments; and so far, the Deputy Commissioner issued directives which are being implemented on the ground for the effective containment of the infection,” he said.
Meanwhile, in Shopian, samples of a few dead crows that were lifted for Wadipora villages of tehsil Chitragam also tested positive for the Avian Flu prompting the administration to take up a slew of measures to contain the spread of the infection.
“ICAR-NISHAD (OIE Reference Laboratory for Avian Influenza) has confirmed that the samples of dead crows in the district are positive for Avian Influenza Virus H5N8,” read the order issued by District Magistrate Shopian, Sachin Kumar Vaishya.
The DM in the order said that it declares the area within one km from the epicentre of the village Wadipora as infected zone, and the area within 10 km from the epicentre as “Alert Zone”.
“There shall be a complete restriction on the arrival of poultry meat within the infected zone, Chief Animal Husbandry Officer, Shopian shall ensure sample survey and backyard poultry population survey in the zone from the epicentre,” the order reads.
In case of culling of birds, the DM said, that the Executive Engineer, R&B Division, Shopian shall ensure availability of necessary machinery and equipment as and when required for the dumping of the dead birds.
The RRTs were rushed to the area where the necessary measures would be taken including the lifting of samples from the infected area and random sampling in the areas falling within the 10 km radius of the epicentre.