Sri Lanka poultry farmers alerted on bird flu
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 21 February 2006, 16:41 GMT]
Animal Production and Health Department has issued instructions to poultry farmers not to allow any visitors to enter their farms. Meanwhile the Government of Sri Lanka has banned the importation of all poultry products from India. Banned products include feathers and skins which are used for sofas, jackets, and belts veterinary department sources said.
The GOSL has taken the preventive measures following outbreak of bird flu in India.
Two technical committees and a national level committee have been appointed to take measures to contain spread of the flu if an outbreak of bird flu hits Sri Lanka.
The national level committee will be co-chaired by the Director General of Animal Production and the Director General of Health Services, sources said.
One technical committee under the Department of Animal Production and Health would deal with the poultry and swine sectors.
The second technical committee under the Health Ministry in co-ordination with the Epidemiological Unit will handle human infections, sources said.
The two committees are directed to launch an emergency awareness campaign to alert farmers and provide information on improved measures for diagnosing the avian flu.
Meanwhile, the government has taken steps to establish bio-security laboratories to combat the disease in Sri Lanka. These laboratories are to be located in Polonnaruwa in the North Central Province and Kandy in the Central Province.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have been asked by the government to provide experts and assistance to map out and establish these laboratories. The government has also made urgent appeal to the international and national level non-governmental organizations to provide asssitance to strengthen surveillance measures to detect and prevent the disease entering the country, sources said.