Bird flu: Panel to monitor situation in TN, says Minister

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Chennai, Jan 12 (PTI) Following the outbreak of bird flu in neighbouring Kerala, the Tamil Nadu government has set up a panel to monitor the impact and death of birds in the state, Animal Husbandry Minister Udumalai K Radhakrishnan said on Tuesday.

Heightened surveillance continued along the Nilgiris, Coimbatore, Tiruppur, Theni, Tenkasi and Kanyakumari districts bordering Kerala and the ban on poultry and ducks coming from the neighbouring state continued, he said.

'A committee has been formed to monitor the impact and death, if any, due to bird flu (in TN) and the members of the public could bring to the notice of the authorities any suspected sudden chicken deaths,' he said.

'Eat well-cooked chicken, eggs. Bird flu is not contagious,' Radhakrishnan advised the people.

He indicated that the chances of birds in organised poultry farms getting infected was very low.

'The precautionary measures being taken in Tamil Nadu to check the spread of bird flu have ensured that the state is not affected. Owing to such measures, the state has not been affected by the influenza since the last five years,' he added.

The animal husbandry department authorities have been told to organise medical camps throughout the state to detect the flu.

According to official sources, veterinary assistant surgeons have been asked to keep a vigil on the poultry farms falling under the jurisdiction of each of the veterinary dispensaries and also visit the farms to personally examine the birds for any symptoms and take appropriate action.

The poultry farmers have been advised to resort to bio-security measures to prevent avian influenza from affecting the birds.

Chlorine dioxide, sodium carbonate (4 per cent solution), sodium bicarbonate, and potassium permanganate (1 per cent solution) can be used for fumigation and disinfection, the sources said.

Farmers were also instructed to use bleaching powder in the farms. The chances of birds in organised poultry farms getting infected was very low as they are kept in near isolation, the official sources claimed.PTI JSP SA SS PTI PTI