Smuggling birds out of affected zones continues
CCpur fowls test negative for bird flu,
Over 16,000 birds culled on Day II, co-ordination improves
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 27: It was a day of better co-ordination on the second day of culling process and altogether 16,000 birds were culled till 4.30 pm today and even as this report is being filed, the culling process is reported to be on.

On the brighter side, the samples of the birds taken from Churachandpur have proved negative for bird flu.

Investigations conducted at the Diseases Investigation Laboratory of the Veterinary Department has confirmed the deaths were due to E Coli.

Even as the culling drive is on full swing, a couple dress their birds for consumption while another woman is seen plucking the feather off a slaughtered duck; A child sans protective gear hands over a bird to the RRT

On the other hand, safety norms were not followed in its letter and spirit and a number of Rapid Response Team personnel of the Veterinary Department could be seen having a pan or a cigarette from the local shops in the midst of the culling.

The Personal Protection Equipments worn by some of the RRT personnel could be seen torn in some parts.

Oblivious to the reality of the situation, some people could be seen dressing their birds in the open for the table.

A late evening report said that about 15 sacks of chicken culled at Laimanai are yet to be buried by the authority concerned.

In a significantly improved showing, 32 RRTs were pressed into service at Imphal East and West from 9.30 am today.

The areas covered by the RRT personnel included Tangkhul Avenue, Laipham Khunou, Khabeisoi, Ahallup, Khabam Chumbreithong, Nagamapal, Lalambung Makhong, Khoyathong, Langol Games Village, Laimanai, Iroishemba, Lamphel, Langol Tarung, Lilashing Khongnangkhong, Deulahlane, Mantripukhri, Chingmeirong East and West and Lairikyengbam Leikai.

Even as the drive on the second day was a significant improvement from the first day, there were still some loopholes, as the Tippers failed to arrive on time and culling had to be stalled, leading to loss of time.

A number of poultry farmers complained that no disinfectants were used at their premises at the time of culling.

The compensation paid is also too low, they maintained.

In some places a number of poultry owners refused to hand over their birds on the ground that the compensation to be paid to them were not ready.

Even as the drive was on in full swing, reports have come in that about 2000 chicks smuggled from Imphal were impounded by the public at Ningthoukhong bazar today and handed over to the police.

Another 100 fowls from Imphal were also seized at Sekmaijin by the public and handed over to the police while another 100 birds were also seized at Wangoi.

About 200 fowls smuggled in from Imphal at Wabagai Tera Pishak were impounded late this evening.

Even though there is a ban in open sale of poultry products, a shop at Lamphel was found selling eggs in the open.

More reports of deaths of birds have also come in to the Control Room of the Veterinary Department.

At a farm at Lamding out of 150 chicks, 145 died one after the other while at Nambol Phoijin, reports have come in that out of 211 birds kept for sale 60 have died in the last one month.

The Control Room also received a report that 24 wild birds have perished at Kongba.

Later addressing the media at the Veterinary office today evening, Director Th Dorendro said that 34 RRTs will be used tomorrow.

Th Dorendro said that the target set on the first day was 18,000 birds, but due to some inconveniences, only 9472 birds including 177 ducks could be culled.

The record improved on the second day today, said the Director and added that till 4.30 pm today, 16,000 birds had been culled.

This include 6500 in Imphal East and 9500 in Imphal West.

Urging the people to extend their co-operation, the Director said that suggestions and advice are always welcome and added that since door to door drive is not practical in every locality, the owners may bring the birds to the place announced.

He however advised that the owners should cover their hands properly, with gloves or with plastics and after delivering the birds, the hands should be thoroughly washed with soap, preferably carbolic soaps.

The clothes should also be washed properly.

The Director also took pains to point out that the culling exercise is being carried out to protect human health.

On the reports that have come in at the Control Room of the deaths of birds at different places, Th Dorendro said that a special team has been set aside to investigate the reports of the deaths.

Following reports of shortage of chicken feeds in non-affected zones, the Director said that the feeds brought in from outside the State may be taken to the non-affected zones provided the vehicles do not stop at Imphal at all.

To queries raised over the conditions of the Personal Protective Equipments of the RRT personnel, the Director said that the matter has been reported to the company concerned and they have agreed to replace the defective ones immediately.

The source of the virus is still being investigated, said the Director and added that four scientists from Delhi along with officials from the State Government are studying the matter.

Explaining that the Tippers are to be provided by the Imphal Municipality Council and the JCBs by the DRDAs of the two districts, the Director said that co-ordination between the different departments of the Government has improved.

Precautionary measures have also been taken up in the adjoining districts, he said and added that increasing the strength of the RRT personnel is facing some problem due to the question of accommodation.

However the matter is under serious considerations.

The Director further informed that the American Consulate in Kolkata has offered to its service to the State Government but the date and time of arrival of its officials are yet to be confirmed.