Visakhapatnam: Poultry farmers on high alert

Poultry farmers on high alert
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 Poultry farmers on high alert

Highlights

  • Deputy Director of Animal Husbandry S Surya Prakash Rao says until the situation turns out to be normal, poultry farmers need to follow certain measures and restrict movement of persons and birds from other places
  • Member of Greater Visakha Broiler Industry Welfare Association T Appa Rao says all precautionary measures will be in place to maintain the farms with disinfectants

Visakhapatnam: As bird flu scare intensifies in parts of the country such as Kerala, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, poultry farmers in Visakhapatnam are on high alert.

Though the City of Destiny is in a safe zone as of now, preventive measures are in place to keep a check on the migratory birds from entering the poultry farms.

In line with this, the staff members are vigilant to prevent crows and other birds from leaning on the surrounding area of the poultry farm. "By the time we receive the broiler chickens to our farm, they have already been vaccinated. Further, they will be administered vaccines at regular intervals so that they are well protected from various virus strains," explains K Sreenu, a poultry owner.

In the first quarter of the previous year, the poultry industry was badly impacted due to the coronavirus pandemic. Only in the past six months, the sector is gradually returning to normalcy.

Now, with lakhs of birds found dead due to H5N1 avian influenza in several parts of the country, the poultry farmers are keeping their fingers crossed.

Elaborating about the measures in place, Member of Greater Visakha Broiler Industry Welfare Association T Appa Rao says, "Though the chances of the spread of the avian flu in Visakhapatnam are remote, we do not want to take any chances. Spraying of disinfectants at regular intervals and keeping the premises clean and free of migratory birds are some of the steps we are practising. Any negligence in their maintenance will only affect our business which is already debt-stricken."

Officials concerned exercise caution over restriction of movement of new chicks from other destinations. "Until the situation turns out to be normal, poultry farmers need to follow certain measures and restrict movement of persons and birds from other places," says S Surya Prakash Rao, Deputy Director of Animal Husbandry.

However, he exercises caution against infected birds entering the food chain and adds that it is safe to consume chicken and poultry products if cooked properly.

On Sundays, the city

records an approximate consumption of 4 lakh to

5 lakh kilos of chicken. Given the poultry production, the impact of the avian flu will be huge if it gets affected.

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