99.5 pc of Punjab's poultry farms free from bird flu: Minister

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Chandigarh, Jan 29 (PTI) Punjab Animal Husbandry Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa on Friday said 99.5 per cent of poultry farms in the state were free from bird flu, out of the total samples tested so far.

He said that only 0.5 percent of the farms have been found to be infected with the avian influenza after results came from the Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, Jalandhar.

“99.5 per cent of the poultry farms in Punjab are free from bird flu,” he said, as per an official statement here.

He expressed hope that the state would soon be completely free from bird flu with efforts being taken by the state government and poultry farmers.

“The Punjab government aims to test 100 per cent of all poultry farms/backyard poultry in the state. The state government was committed to provide disease free poultry products to the people,” said Bajwa.

Giving information about the prevention of bird flu in Punjab, Vijay Kumar Janjua, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairy Development, said 8,022 samples have been tested so far at Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at Jalandhar.

Janjua also appealed to the public to eat fully-cooked meat and eggs as experts have advised that it is safe to eat, if meat and eggs are cooked at 70 degrees Celsius for a minimum of 20 minutes.

At the same time, in a statement, he said the Punjab government would extend full support to the poultry farmers for conducting the tests of their poultry farms and these tests would be done completely free of cost. PTI SUN VSD HDA