Sherpa Hossainy's Blog

Poultry leaders for tightened border to check bird flu

Posted in Agriculture, Bangladesh by Sherpa Hossainy on March 14, 2012

Published in The Independent on 13 March 2012

Digital print version

Poultry industry leaders have urged the government to beef up border security to stop illegal poultry import following the spread of highly pathogenic Avian Influenza (AI) virus in India.

In January, the World Organisation of Animal Health (OIE) reported a deadly H5H1 virus outbreak in six Indian states — Tripura, Meghalaya, Maharastra, Bihar, Orissa and Jharkhand, which resulted in culling of thousands of poultry birds. The Indian state of Assam and West Bengal also saw similar spate in July and August.

Moshiur Rahman, convener of the Bangladesh Poultry Industry Coordination Committee (BPICC) and president of the Breeders Association of Bangladesh (BAB), said, “The poultry industry in Bangladesh suffered huge losses in last year’s bird flu outbreak. If the virus hits once again crossing the border, it would cause a severe devastation.

“We have heard that infected birds and eggs are being smuggled to Bangladesh and media earlier reported selling of infected poultry birds at a cheaper price in the infected areas.”

He urged the government to install quarantine cell and certification unit at every International port to stop intrusion of AI virus as well as any other new deadly disease.

Fazle Rahim Khan Shahriar, managing director of Aftab Bahumukhi Farms Ltd, said import of one-day chick, birds and eggs from virus affected country is strictly prohibited according to the international law but the Commerce Ministry has issued such permissions earlier.

“These decisions are causing serious damage to our poultry industry,” Shahriar said. He requested the government to cancel all permission issued to import one-day chick, chicken, eggs and hatching eggs from neighbouring India and other AI affected countries.

Shamsul Arefin Khalid, vice-president of BAB and director of Nourish Poultry and Hatchery Ltd, said FAO has identified six countries including India, where AI virus exists and will require another decade or more to get rid of this deadly disease.

“The government should ban import of chicks, eggs and poultry birds at least for the next ten years,” Khalid said.

The poultry leaders requested farmers to bury dead body of any wild and migratory birds or crow without delay and maintain bio-security strictly. They also asked farmers to report suspected infection to their nearby livestock offices.

The poultry leaders urged the government to permit them to use vaccine against bird flu, and also expected directives from the prime minister to save poultry industry, which employs over seven million people.

The leaders called upon the Indian Farms doing business in Bangladesh to be careful and take necessary precaution.

The poultry industry in Bangladesh suffered losses around Tk 6,000 crore during 2007 to January 2012 due to bird flu attacks.

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