Poultry experts suggest that there is an effective vaccine for H5N8 virus, which transmits from birds to birds, and the vaccine is being successfully used in various countries, including China, Egypt, Korea, Pakistan, Mynamar, Mexico and Indonesia.
The experts claim that the vaccine is being smuggled into India illegally. The experts maintain that the sudden situation of H5N8 in Haryana, especially in the Barwala poultry belt, could have been detected earlier if the departments concerned had remained vigil.
Dr S K Khanna, a retired poultry development officer, said, “There are certain countries in the world like India, which usually witness the bird flu, especially H5N8 virus among poultry birds, after some years. These countries have also developed a vaccine. Developed countries, including USA, Russia and Canada, follow the option of culling process. They compensate the farmers very well. I believe we should also follow vaccination instead of culling, which is very expensive.”
Dr Khanna, a resident of Ambala, said, “Barwala had bird flu outbreak since December 5 and affected birds were sold to areas in Rajasthan, Madhya Pardesh. Many birds which died were thrown into canals or fields, thus contaminating aquatic geese and crows .This fact is further established by reports of dead crows after December 20.”
However, a medical representative in the field of poultry vaccine said, “Every big poultry farm has its independent poultry expert on the panel. Even the big companies, which sponsored the poultry business supplying chicks to the farmers, provided their poultry experts and consultants to the farmers. The outbreak in the Barwala poultry belt is a failure for them. Either they failed to observe the symptoms of avian influenza or tried to put the high mortality under the carpet.”
Darshan Singla, president of Haryana Poultry Farm Association, said, “Our private consultants remained vigilant. They observed the New Castle Disease, which is known as Ranikhet Disease. This disease mutated to H1N8. We have updated the state animal husbandry and dairying department about these development.”
A senior officer with Haryana animal husbandry and dairying department said, “There are hundreds of poultry farms in Panchkula district. We cannot go to each poultry farm. How can we come to know about the disease, any problem until the poultry farm owners approach us?”
Rs 450 demanded for each bird
Haryana Poultry Farm Association Saturday demanded Rs 450 compensation for each sacrificed bird from Haryana animal husbandry and dairying department. The association also demanded that the feed, medicines and other stocks related to poultry birds, which will also be destroyed, be compensated by the state government.
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