To prevent the bird flu virus from spreading to Tamil Nadu, the state government on Wednesday banned the movement of poultry and poultry products from Kerala into the state.
The state has also ordered ducks and chicken brought from Kerala in the past few days to be culled and vehicles that have crossed over from Kerala to be disinfected. “All measures will be taken to stop the spread of the disease into Tamil Nadu,” said an official statement.
To discuss other measures, a meeting under the chairmanship of Chief Minister O Panneerselvam is expected to be held soon.
Tamil Nadu is the hub of India’s poultry trade and home to all major producers and exporters.
The state’s poultry sector, however, doesn’t foresee bird flu having a major impact on its business. P Nallathambi, president, Tamil Nadu Poultry Farmers Association, said, “We don’t see any impact of the bird flu issues in Kerala…We are dealing with chicken, which is well protected against any such virus infection through bio-security measures.”
Across the country, too, traders aren’t worried. “As of now, the bird flu in Kerala has just impacted ducks and that, too, in a part of the state. Therefore, I don’t see any large-scale impact on poultry exports from India as of now,” said Rickey Thapar, convenor of the Poultry Federation of India.
In 2013-14, India exported 437,673 tonnes of poultry and poultry products, worth Rs 566 crore. During April-August this year, exports stood at 190,326 tonnes; these were worth Rs 242 crore.
Meanwhile, the central government has set up a control room in Krishi Bhawan in the national government to monitor the situation. It has assured the Kerala government of assistance and asked the department ofhealth and family welfare to provide medical aid if needed. “The department of animal husbandry, dairying and fisheries has requested the ministry of health to facilitate control and containment operations,” said an official statement.