The bird flu outbreak in a turkey unit of the government-run Central Poultry Development Organisation in Bangalore has triggered fear among farmers and exporters in Tamil Nadu that poultry products from across the country will be prevented from entering overseas and domestic markets.
Though poultry farms in the State have not been affected, the fear is that overseas buyers will not be location-specific while banning the products. The experience so far is that instead of banning products only from the affected zone, buyers react by clamping a ban on poultry products from across the country.
Secretary of the Animal Husbandry Department (AHD), Government of India, Gokul Chandra Pati confirmed the outbreak of bird flu in a report he submitted to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) on Friday. He stated that 3,481 turkeys had succumbed to the flu at the farm in the second week of October.
Based on test results from the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory in Bhopal, the department has identified a highly-pathogenic avian influenza virus as the cause of death. The report, however, made it clear that the occurrence was only in a zone or compartment and not the entire country.
Oman banned import of eggs from India earlier this year after bird flu was reported in north India. Poultry farmer and exporter P.V. Senthil said export to Oman resumed about five weeks ago, and so far 55 containers — more than 2.5 crore [25 million] eggs — had been exported.