Amid bird flu scare, HP govt bans supply of poultry items from outside states

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Shimla, Jan 11 (PTI) The Himachal Pradesh government on Monday banned the supply of all poultry products from other states for a week amid the bird flu scare, an official spokesman said on Monday.

In a statement issued here, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said the ban was imposed to ensure that infection sources do not come from other states through poultry items.

Meanwhile, 122 more migratory birds of various species were found dead in Pong Dam Lake Wildlife Sanctuary on Monday, wildlife department officials said.

With this, the death toll of migratory water birds has risen to 4,357.

The birds are dying due to an outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza which was detected in the samples of some of the dead birds last week.

“Most of the dead birds stuck in the inaccessible swampy areas have been retrieved and the area cleared of carcasses,” Chief Wildlife Warden Archana Sharma said.

Besides, around 215 other birds including crows have also been found dead in various parts of the state, and around 1,000 dead poultry birds were found dumped in Dharampur area of Solan, the CM said.

The CM said their samples were sent to a disease diagnostic laboratory in Punjab's Jalandhar and the carcasses buried in deep pits.

About 65 rapid response teams of the animal husbandry and wildlife departments have been regularly monitoring the lake and adjoining areas, Thakur said He added that directions have been issued to officials concerned to keep a strict vigil on birds along reservoirs and sensitise people about proper handling of poultry products. PTI DJI HDA