Punjab: 250 to 1,500 poultry birds dying daily at Barwala, say RDDL officials


Around 250 to 1,500 poultry birds have been dying on a daily basis in a number of poultry farms situated at Barwala for the last couple of days. Sources in the sampling teams of Regional Disease Diagnosis Laboratory (RDDL), Jalandhar, said that certain owners of the poultry farms accepted the high mortality but a majority of them attempted to underplay the high mortality in their farms.

Sources in the sampling teams, which started collecting samples around 1 pm, said multiple poultry farms were detected in which mortality of 1,000 to 1,500 birds is being reported every day. Several farm owners tried to underplay the mortality in their farms. The mortality of 250 birds in one poultry farm is not a serious thing, especially in this season. But the death of 1,500 poultry birds in one day is abnormal.

“Instead of depending on the dead birds being provided by poultry farmworkers, we are collecting bird carcasses on our own,” a source said.

The sampling teams comprised pathologists, epidemiologists and bacteriologists.

The RDDL officials also urged the officials of Haryana animal husbandry and dairying department to collect independent samples for sending these directly to High-Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL), Bhopal.

Dr Mohinder Pal Singh, the joint director, RDDL, said, “We urged Director General of Haryana animal husbandary department to send their samples straight away to Bhopal laboratory instead of depending on our findings. Our teams are on the job. The random sampling will be completed shortly. It will take at least 48 hours to reveal the results.”

However, the poultry farm workers maintain that the mortality was being reported among the mature poultary birds, which are busy in the production of eggs, instead of chicks. The dead birds are being buried in the deep pits dug in the backyards of poultry farms.

The poultry farmworkers, who reside inside the farm premises along with their families, were instructed not to come out from the farms and also not allowed anyone to enter the farms until the result of their samples arrived. The district health department has collected the samples for ascertaining the COVID-19 and other flu among the workers from different farms.

A munshi (manager) with a poultry farm, which housed around 70,000 birds, said, “Around 250 birds have been dying every day for the last month. We are taking all precautions. Cleaning and disinfecting process of the farms has been speeded up.”

Darshan Kumar Singla, president of Poultry Farm Association, said, “We are cooperating with the sampling teams. They visited around a dozen poultry farms. The laboratory results will establish the exact reasons behind the high mortality. We believe the harsh cold season is the reason.”


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