Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur today called for focusing on “information, education and communication (IEC)” to sensitise the HP people about the need for adopting safety measures to check further spread of bird flu in the state.

He said this while presiding over a meeting here that took stock of the situation arising due to the outbreak of bird flu in the state.

The CM pointed out that a ban had been imposed in HP on import of poultry products from other states for a week in order to ensure that this avian infection does not come from other states through poultry products.

Thakur said that about 4324 migratory birds have died of bird flu in the state so far and that these birds were being buried as per the protocol in order to prevent the spread of its virus. He said that about 65 rapid response teams of the Animal Husbandry and Wildlife departments were regularly monitoring the affected Pong dam and adjoining areas in this regard.

He said that keeping in view the intensity of the bird flu outbreak, samples of poultry have been sent to the RDDL (Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory) Jalandhar by the Animal Husbandry department.

The CM said that 1000 dead domestic poultry birds were found dumped in Dharampur sub-division in Solan district.

He said these birds were disposed of through deep burial and the area was being sanitised as per protocols and samples sent to the RDDL Jalandhar for diagnosis. He said that 215 other birds were also found dead in various parts of the state till date. Thakur directed the officers to keep strict vigil on birds alongside reservoirs, asking them that people should be sensitised about proper handling of poultry products.

The CM said that it is important to spread awareness amongst people regarding preventive measures against bird flu. He directed the officers concerned to take necessary steps in this direction. He also urged the people to inform the Animal Husbandry and WildLife departments if any bird is found dead in their areas.

Chief Secretary Anil Khachi, Additional Chief Secretary, Animal Husbandry, Nisha Singh, Additional Chief Secretary, Revenue, RD Dhiman, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, J.C. Sharma, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Dr. Savita, Director, Animal Husbandry, Dr. Ajmer Dogra, and other senior officers were also present on the occasion.