December 12, 2008

First bird flu outbreak in India's eastern province


India reported a first bird flu outbreak in its eastern province in Assam, but outbreaks were not seen to hit the domestic poultry sector as the province is not a main poultry supplier.


The federal Animal Husbandry Ministry said Thursday (Dec 11) that there has been an outbreak of bird flu in eight places in the eastern province of Assam.


N. Gokulram, a senior bureaucrat at the ministry told Dow Jones Newswires that the outbreak started on Nov 29. The provincial authority has culled 245,000 birds and stressed that the occurrence is very localised.


The provincial authority has restricted free movement of poultry products. The authorities did not give any suspected cause of the bird flu outbreak.


S.K. Bandyopadhyay, the federal commissioner for animal husbandry department said neighboring countries including Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh have been asked to tighten vigilance for any possible outbreak.


Culled birds are mainly from backyard poultry farms.


The localised outbreaks have not hit domestic poultry business as the eastern province is not a major seller, an industry official said.

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