20th Feb, 2006: Chennai - The Tamil Nadu government today banned import of poultry feed and poultry from Maharashtra for two months following the outbreak of birdflu in that state.
Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Sciences Director T N Palanivelu told UNI that the decision was taken after a high-level meeting, chaired by state Animal Husbandry Minister P V Damodhiran at the Secretariat here this morning.
Four checkposts had been set up at Hosur, Katpadi, Gummidipoondi and Thalawady, to check poultry import from Maharashtra and the ban ''came into effect from today'', he added.
He said ever since the global incident of avian flu, the state government had initiated precautionary steps. Incidentally, Tamil Nadu did not import poultry on a regular basis compared to poultry feed.
As a precautionary measure, bio-security shields and sanitary measures had been undertaken in Salem, Namakkal, Erode and Palladam districts of Tamil Nadu, where a large number of poultry farms are located.
Dr Palanivelu said ''We have well-trained people who know everything about the disease. For six months now, they have been imparting training as per the Government of India guidelines and updated about the latest on a regular basis.'' ''Right from cleaning, culling, vaccination and disposal of dead birds, we have people who can handle every aspect of the disease,'' he said.
There are around 300 such trained personnel available throughout the state.
Protective coats for persons handling poultry and masks for face protection were provided and 250 such kits had been purchased. Also, a round-the-clock monitoring cell had been set up at the headquarter, he noted.
A rapid response team, comprising 12 people, in the headquarter and a similar team of seven people in the district headquarters had been formed.
Allaying the fears about the dreaded disease, Dr Palanivelu said people could ''safely'' eat the meat as the state remained unscathed so far. However, as a precautionary measure, raw eggs, half-cooked and half-baked eggs were to be avoided.