A red alert has been issued in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh after bird flu broke out in two areas of Ranga Reddy district on the outskirts of Hyderabad.
The district’s Animal Husbandry Department, which came across hundreds of dead chicken in 2 poultry farms last week had sent several samples to the High-Security Animal Disease Lab at Bhopal and the results confirmed on Tuesday that the birds were affected by bird flu, also known as avian influenza or H5N1 virus.
The Telangana government has sounded an alert in districts near Hyderabad and has also issued an advisory to the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh. The government has decided to cull nearly 2 lakh chickens in a one km radius and rapid response teams from neighbouring districts have been mobilised to help Ranga Reddy officials.
“We are following a set protocol. Right now, we are culling birds in the farm where the virus broke out. There are about 80,000 birds in this farm and another 45,000 in the neighbouring farm which will also be culled. Only birds in the first farm are affected but as a precaution we have to cull birds in neighbouring farms too. Later, we may also cull birds in all the farms in Thorur village where this operation is going on. Pits are being dug to dump the culled birds,’’ Dr Vamsi Krishna Reddy, Assistant Veterinary Surgeon of Ranga Reddy district said.
The government has also asked officials of animal husbandry and veterinary department, who may have inadvertently exposed themselves to the infected birds, to seek immediate medical attention.