SHILLONG, Jan 11 (IANS): The Meghalaya government Wednesday alerted all district authorities after samples of dead birds at a farm in East Garo Hills district in the state tested positive for bird flu, an official said.
"The government sent samples of birds, which died on the government-run farm at Williamnagar, to the Bhopal-High Security Animal Disease Laboratory. They have tested positive of H5N1," said Animal and Husbandry Principal Secretary Prashant Naik.
"The laboratory informed us this evening (Wednesday) that the sample sent by us was found positive for bird flu," Naik told IANS.
More than 3,000 poultry birds have died in the past few weeks on a farm in Williamnagar, the district headquarters of East Garo Hills district.
"We have asked the district administration to monitor health of all the birds. The movement of birds from the affected area has also been stopped," Naik said.
District administrations in the western part of Meghalaya, meanwhile, have imposed a ban on movement and sale of poultry and poultry products.
"It has been decided to immediately commence the culling of birds and destruction of eggs and feed material to control further spread of the disease. The virus has been contained in the affected area," East Garo Hills District Magistrate Praveen Bakshi told IANS.
"The culling will start from tomorrow (Thursday) within a radius of three kilometres of the infected area," Bakshi said, adding that movement of farm personnel has been banned, access to wild and stray birds and infected premises has been restricted.
In addition, surveillance has been ordered in surrounding areas up to 10 km.