Bhutan Warns of Possible Bird Flu Outbreak04 December 2008
BHUTAN - The government has warned the public of possibility of an outbreak og highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) following its spread across Assam, the adjacent border area with India.
According to an official statement, an outbreak of bird flu (H5N1) has been declared in Kamrup District, Assam, India which has been reported to the Ministry on the evening of 27 November 2008. As per the notification from the Ministry, an emergency meeting was convened on 28 November.
The government has recommended various preventive measures:
- Reactivation of Veterinary Vigilance Team (VVT) by Department of Livestock for clinical and laboratory surveillance along the southern border Dzongkhags, especially in Samdrup Jongkhar and Sarpang Dzongkhag
- Appropriate regulatory and quarantine activities such as distinction of vehicles and other risk goods, etc should resume at all entry points
- Import of table eggs and frozen chicken from already identified sources in Bhutan will be allowed only thro ugh Phuntsholing. Then movement from Phuntsholing to eastern part of the country and those Dzongkhags sharing border with Assam can be allowed only through lateral routes
- Import permits for day-old-chicks (DOC) which have been already issued for import via Guahati shall be immediately revoked
- Import of DOCs from Pune to Paro via Delhi and Katmandu shall be continued
- Poultry feeds from Samrat Feed Mills in Siliguri should be allowed only if it is transported by lateral routes (entry only through Phuntsholing) for movement to other eastern and southern border districts
- These preventive measures discussed re-enforcement of bird flu prevention activities in the country is to be announced in the media for public notification to garner support and cooperation
- The recommendations will be reviewed and amended every two to three weeks as deemed necessary.
The ministry has also requested everyone to support and co-operation in order to prevent the disease from entering the country.
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