Tripura on fresh bird flu alert, bans poultry imports

Agartala: Following recent cases of avian influenza reported from West Bengal, neighbouring Assam and Bangladesh, Tripura today sounded an alert and banned import of poultry from these places.

“We have imposed a ban on poultry import from West Bengal, Assam and Bangladesh following report of outbreak of bird flu in those places. But we have no objection in bringing poultry from Punjab and Haryana because those states are not affected by the disease,” Director of Animal Resource Department (ARD), Manoranjan Sarkar told a news agency.

The BSF and police have been alerted to seal the 856 km long Indo-Bangla border and special check-ups were being made at Churaibari inter-state check post in North Tripura district to prevent entry of poultry from Assam and West Bengal. However, there was no information of avian influenza in any part of the state so far.

The disease first attacked the state in 2008 when thousands of poultry and fowls were culled. Earlier in the year, the flu had resurfaced in the state.

Meanwhile, the Tripura government has urged the Central government to bear the entire cost of compensation to the northeastern states.

“As India’s northeastern states bordering Bangladesh have become vulnerable to bird flu with the contiguous disease outbreak intermittently across the border and as well as the smuggling of poultry products into India, the centre should bear the full costs of compensation,” Agriculture and Animal Resource Development Minister Aghore Debbarma said.

“With the sporadic outbreak of bird flu, thousands of poor poultry cultivators have been affected in Tripura and other northeastern states.

The contiguous disease has also been affecting the fragile economy of the northeastern region,” the minister said here at a meeting.

Four states – Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Assam, which shares 1,880-km border with Bangladesh – were occasionally affected by avian influenza forcing the authorities to cull lakhs of poultry birds and ducks besides destroying huge quantities of poultry products.

The department official said that as regards of compensation for loss of poultry on account of culling and destruction of birds, the rate of compensation – 50:50 between central government and state government – has been indicated to the state governments by the Central government. (Agencies)

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