Indian bird flu outbreak raises export fears

29-10-2012 | | |
Indian bird flu outbreak raises export fears
Indian bird flu outbreak raises export fears

Avian Influenza has been discovered in a turkey unit of the government-run Central Poultry Development Organisation in Bangalore, India.

Around 3,600 turkeys died following the outbreak and the remaining 700 turkeys have been culled. A radius of 10 km has been demarcated as surveillance zone, impacting as many as 15 commercial farms.

The outbreak has triggered fear among farmers and exporters in Tamil Nadu that poultry products from across the country will be prevented from entering overseas and domestic markets. Even though poultry farms in the State have not been affected, there is a fear that overseas buyers will react by forcing a ban on poultry products from across the country.

Secretary of the Animal Husbandry Department (AHD), Government of India, Gokul Chandra Pati confirmed the outbreak of bird flu in a report he submitted to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

Based on test results from the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory in Bhopal sent to the World Organisation for Animal health, the Animal Husbandry Department (AHD) of the Government of India identified a highly-pathogenic avian influenza virus as the cause of death. The report, however, made it clear that the occurrence was only in a zone or compartment and not the entire country.

Chairman of National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC) Namakkal Zone, P. Selvaraj told local publication, The Hindu that many countries banned the import of eggs and poultry products when bird flu was reported, as was the case earlier in the year when Oman banned egg imports.

“However, countries such as Afghanistan and Algeria imported eggs from India even when the OIE classified India as bird-flu affected. They were convinced that eggs from Namakkal are safe as we are far away from the affected zones”, Selvaraj said.

Industry sources said that about 10-15% of broilers reared in Tamil Nadu were from Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri, from where chicken is primarily sold in Bangalore. They said that these farms would feel the knock-on effect from the outbreak in Bangalore if a consumer resistance to chicken began.

Source: The Hindu