1. Animal Husbandry

Bird Flu Alert: Advisory Issued for Poultry Farmers, Handlers & Consumers

Abha Toppo
Abha Toppo
poultry
Poultry Farm

Amid the ongoing Coronavirus crises in India, Bird flu, another disease of economic and health importance has hit several states including Punjab in the last few months. Although there are only sporadic reports of bird flu but poultry farmers need to be more cautious and aware about this disease.

What is Bird Flu

Bird flu is a disease caused by Avian Influenza Type A virus that could affect several kinds of birds like turkeys, quails, chicken, ducks and wild birds etc. This virus shed in the faeces, nasal discharges & saliva of infected birds. Healthy birds become ill when they come in contact with the infected/reservoir birds or their secretions or contaminated feed, water or equipment. This disease rarely transmits from birds to humans. But, the persons working in close contact with the birds must follow proper personnel hygiene along with safety measures.  

 

Expert Advice

Director of the Centre for One Health, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana, Dr Jasbir Bedi briefed that poultry and poultry products including eggs must be cooked properly before consumption. Cooking at or more than 70° C kills influenza viruses. Farm to farm transmission generally occur through the movement of the live birds, people & contaminated vehicles, equipment etc. The entry of vehicles or person in the poultry farm must be regulated.  

Assistant Professor, Centre for One Health, Dr Rajnish Sharma said, “One should inform the local veterinarian, in case he or she come across something aberrant, for example death of wild birds in the vicinity of the farm”.

The expert said that dead birds must not be handled with bare hands. Dispose of the dead birds carefully under the guidance of local veterinarians, either by burning or burying in a pit. While disposing them of, the person should wear mask, gloves & safety goggles. If gloves are not available then use an inverted polythene bag & wash your hands after the disposal.

In addition, open water troughs or farm tanks must be covered. Trees in the farm or near its boundary should also be cropped. 

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