`Preparations afoot to contain Bird Flu outbreak`

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CrPC 144 imposed, transportation of birds to and from infected area barred

IMPHAL, April 20: The district magistrate Imphal West district has imposed 144 CrPC 1973 to ensure effective implementation of action plan to counter the outbreak of the highly pathogenic Avian Influenza, Bird Flu, within the 10 km from epicentre.

Addressing media persons at his office chamber today, Veterinary and Animal Husbandry director Dr M Rajendro said the department has initiated immediate action plan since April 19 evening following the positive confirmation of Avian Influenza.

The veterinary director said that as per the provision of the 144 CrPC 1973, the district magistrate has banned all transport/movement of infected birds, dead birds, eggs and other related materials out of the infected area besides barring movement of birds from and to the infected area.

No person shall restock poultry in the infected zone for three months next beginning from April 19 and no person shall move or transport or engage in sale of poultry birds/products including eggs within the surveillance zone, he continued.

The magistrate has also ordered that no persons shall operate shops and markets dealing with poultry products, feeds and eggs, and the prohibition of sale thereof, within a radius of 10 km from the infected site until completion of culling and sanitization operations, further added the director.

Dr M Rajendro further revealed that the Forest department, Government of Manipur shall take all possible steps to ensure that wild and stray birds do not have access to the poultry, poultry sheds and water supplies in the infected area.

If anyone is found violating the order of the magistrate, the person will be booked and awarded with penalty to be fixed by the Police department, he said.

On the other hand, the Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Department, will set up drop-gates on all outgoing roads of the infected area and the police department shall assist in imposing the same, he said adding that it would stamp out and dispose-off all live poultry birds/other captive birds with all formalities as per the action within the infected zone, in the presence of designated officials of the revenue department.

To safely dispose-off the poultry birds/products the department had reportedly formed 10 groups of Rapid Response Team (RRT) 10 led by a doctor along with two Field Assistants and two Attendants.

Meanwhile, the Rapid Response Teams culled altogether 122 fowl within the radius of one km from epicentre ICAR today. The culled fowl included 17 numbers from ICAR poultry unit and 105 from the Central School, Lamphelpat, Veterinary director Dr M Rajendro said.

Moreover all the culled fowls along with chicken feeds, etc have been buried under earth at Langol near the pony farms.

Culling and surveillance will continue and the daily reports will be updated to the concerned Ministry on a daily basis, he said.

The department has opened a help line number 0385-2450224 for outbreak at directorate of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry government of Manipur Sanjenthong Imphal East.

The director said that a meeting was also convened today at the DC Imphal West office attended by the district SP and officials of the Health, Revenue and Veterinary department.

Further speaking to the media persons, he said that it a contagious disease and could infect humans.

Dr M Rajendro further appealed to the public, poultry farmers and NGOs to co-operate and help the authorities in combating the bird flu (avian influenza) and not to hide their fowls during surveillance conducted by RRT.

He said every fortnight the department will collect samples from infected areas and send the samples to centre at Bhopal for testing for two months.

With regards to compensating the owners of the fowl, the Veterinary director said that owners will be compensated after determining the total weight of the fowls with officials from the revenue department and RRT as witness.

However, the compensation rate per kg was not disclosed.

Responding to queries on the mode of transmission, the director expressed that the virus could have been transmitted from stools of migratory bird however it is yet to be confirmed.

Altogether 18 areas falls under the infected, i.e 1Km radius from epicentre, including Thangmeiband area, RIMS staff quarter, Lamphel police station and its adjacent areas etc.

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