There have been no cases of bird flu in West Garo Hills yet but citizens, especially poultry farmers, have been told to take precautions and remain vigilant.
In view of the confirmed cases of bird flu in some parts of the country, the Deputy Commissioner, Ram Singh, had convened a meeting with the District Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Officer along with other line departments of the district to discuss the preparedness, monitor and control avian influenza in the district.
While discussing during the meeting, Singh said that all precautionary measures need to be followed and directed the concerned department to organise awareness programmes for all stakeholders, including traders and suppliers with regards to the signs and symptoms of the diseases along with the restriction on the import of poultry and eggs from outside the state. He also directed them to distribute pamphlets so that they can monitor and inform the concerned authority in case they find any dead birds.
Meanwhile, the District Veterinary Officer, JK Marak, informed that, as of now, there have been no reported cases of death of birds in the district, however, he urged everyone especially poultry farmers or poultry farms to take precautionary measures and alert the authority if they come across sudden and unusual mortality of poultry birds and wild or migratory birds in their neighbourhood.
Informing about the signs and symptoms of bird flu, he said that it is a viral infection that can infect birds, humans and other animals that come in contact with a carrier and cautioned everyone not to touch a dead bird if found and to restrict entry and movement of people on to poultry farms or premises. Maintenance of strict hygiene by washing hands with soap repeatedly is advised if a person handles poultry and raw poultry meat. Poultry meat and products should be consumed only after thorough cooking, he said.
Moreover, he informed that the department has formed rapid response teams (RRT) in the district to oversee and monitor and control in case of outbreak and will conduct awareness programmes at market places and other locations for the benefit of the general public.