Livestock department favours bird flu vaccineMd Owasim Uddin Bhuyan
The Department of Livestock wants to introduce poultry vaccine against avian influenza virus that causes bird flu, officials said Tuesday.
They said that the department would send a proposal seeking the government’s approval to introduce the vaccine.
They also said that the department found positive results of the vaccine following tests at Bajitpur and Gazipur.
Bird flu outbreaks which occur during the winter from November to March pose a big threat to Bangladesh’s booming poultry industry having 1.5 lakh commercial poultry farms, they said.
According to the Livestock Department at least 555 outbreaks caused losses to the domestic poultry industry since 2007.
Beginning the winter of 2007 until March 2013, Bangladesh had to cull over 27 lakh poultry birds and 36 lakh eggs at 815 poultry farms, official data show.
Department of Livestock director general Mosaddek Hossain told New Age that the proposal would be sent to the Fisheries and Livestock ministry today.
Countrywide use of the vaccine would be allowed after the ministry approves the proposal, he said.
Poultry Breeders Association of Bangladesh recently requested the government to introduce the vaccine to prevent bird flu outbreaks causing staggering annual losses.
BAB general secretary Saidur Rahman Babu told New Age that positive results were found during field tests of the vaccine conducted at Bajitpur in Kishoregonj and Gazipur district under strict supervision by a technical committee of the livestock department.
A campaign has been launched to make poultry farmers aware of possible bird flu outbreaks ahead of the winter, avian influenza preparedness and response project director AKM Ataur Rahman told New Age.
‘We mainly advise the farmers to ensure bio-security at their farms by keeping them clean,’ he said.
He said, ‘We also advise them to restrict entrance to the farms.’
Farm hands entering the farms ought to fumigate themselves, he said.
But, he admitted, no action is taken for violations of the bio-safety measures.
Since 2007, the government had to pay Tk 25 crore to compensate the poultry farmers for culling poultry birds and eggs, he said.
He said that the government owed Tk five crore in compensation to 22 poultry farms.
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