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Bird flu hits Indian government poultry agency

By Keith Nuthall , 06-Nov-2012

The Indian government agency charged with the development of the national poultry sector has been hit by an outbreak of bird flu on one of its turkey farms, the Office International des Épizooties (OIE), the world animal health organisation has said.

There were 3,481 infections at the Bangalore-based turkey unit of India’s Central Poultry Development Organisation said the OIE, which warned 4,265 turkeys could be at risk; 784 have already been destroyed, according to India’s agriculture ministry.

A note from the Indian organisation stressed that the agency did not just run farms, but supplied “knowledge information at an apex level in the poultry sector catering to regional and national requirements”. Now, it is likely to gain first-hand experience of bird flu.

A ministry statement said the source of the disease was not yet known, although an “epidemiological investigation is ongoing”, and “an intensive surveillance campaign has been launched in a 10km radius zone". Restocking will be applied in accordance with a specified protocol.

Meanwhile, the OIE has also reported a bird flu outbreak at a chicken farm in Bhaktapur, Nepal, near the capital Kathmandu, where 1,220 birds have been infected and died from the disease. Another 780 potentially infected chicken were destroyed. And another bird flu outbreak has been reported by Bhutan’s agriculture and forests ministry – in Phuentsholing town, southern Bhutan. It said 496 free-range chickens were at risk.

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