After the avian flu scare in Karnataka, precautionary steps to avert its incidence in Telangana are being taken and stepped by the state animal husbandry department. Officials have appealed to poultry farm owners to take bio-security measures on the farms, and asked the department staff to collect blood and serum samples of birds from all farms for tests.

In Telangana, the last time avian flu was detected was at Hayathnagar in April 2015. “There have been no positive cases ever since. There is no need to worry. As precautionary step, we asked our staff a week ago to again collect blood and serum samples of poultry birds from all farms. These measures are taken around the year,” said Dr Ramchander, additional director of animal husbandry.

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In Karnataka the flu scare proved to be a false alarm and that state’s animal husbandry minister A Manju said that samples sent to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) in Bhopal tested negative for any form of bird flu that is lethal to humans and that the birds were safe for human consumption.

An official of Telangana animal husbandry department said that though there had been no unusual deaths of poultry birds, they appealed to farm owners, as a precautionary measure, to take bio-safety measures such as ensuring that workers change clothes and wash their feet in disinfectant water before entering a farm. According to the officials, there are 960 rapid response teams which visit poultry farms across TS. Each mandal has two or three such teams.

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Vehicles carrying poultry feed are considered to be effective carriers of flu as a vehicle goes from one farm to another. “Farm owners take good bio-security measures. For instance, all vehicles, including a bicycle, entering a farm have to go through a pit filled with disinfectant liquid and cases which have feed are fumigated,” Dr Ramchander said.

The official said the Union government gave instructions for collection of samples regularly and sending it for tests. The blood and serum samples are sent to the Southern Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Bengaluru. In case a sample tests positive, it is again sent to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal for confirmation. #KhabarLive