Goa’s ban on poultry coming in from Karnataka will be lifted soon with an official notice of the order expected by Thursday or Friday.
Director of the department of animal husbandry and veterinary services Dr Santosh Desai Wednesday said that the ban has been lifted by the department although it will be effective as soon as the notification is issued.
He said that letters to the District Collectors of north and south Goa, asking for the order lifting the ban have already been forwarded. The letters were dispatched on Wednesday evening after receiving communication from the Western region Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (WDDL), Pune.
“WDDL communicated to us via email in the morning that bird flu infection in Karnataka has ended,” said Dr Desai. Hence, transport of poultry and chicken products from Karnataka will be permitted with suppliers free to get adult chicken or chicken products. Goa imports about 30 per cent of its poultry requirement from Karnataka and traders across the state’s boundary were badly hit after imports were stopped.
Earlier, on August 4, the animal husbandry department had written to the WDDL asking it whether the ban on poultry coming in from Karnataka should be continued since bird flu had not spread in that state. The communication from the Pune laboratory is in response to the letter.
On July 12, Goa government had stopped import of poultry from Karnataka after the animal husbandry department requested for it. The ban order was for a period of two months and it was in response to WDDL cautioning on bird flu instances in Bidar district of Karnataka. Bird flu was detected in Bidar on May 9, 2016, but the outbreak was confined to one farm as a result of preventive measures taken by the Karnataka government. The disease did not spread and the ban became superfluous.
“The call for ban was a precautionary step taken to avoid mass scale culling of birds if avian influenza had to break out,” said Dr Desai. It was totally in force due to the strict checking carried out at the three entry points to Goa from Karnataka. However, chicken prices did not increase in the state and neither was there a shortage, as vendors started importing from Maharashtra.
Consumption of chicken in Goa is estimated at about 10 tonnes per day and only 20 per cent is supplied from within the state. Karnataka supplies 30 per cent while the balance 50 per cent comes from Maharashtra.
Ban on poultry from K’taka to be lifted soon