Avian Influenza and Pandemic Preparedness program at SKUAST-K

Veterinary scientists call for cohesive efforts to safeguard animal, human health

SRINAGAR: Veterinary scientists have called for a coordinated effort to deal with the situation arising out of the outbreak of bird flu in the neighbouring states, thus safeguarding both animal and human health.
While interacting with government veterinary field functionaries the experts from SKUAST-K during the three day awarness-cum sensitisation programme on “Avian Influenza and Pandemic Preparedness” held at the Faculty of Outreach centre Shuhama, opined that a cohesive approach is needed to tackle any such disease outbreak in the valley thereby by not only safeguarding the economic interest of the poultry sector in the valley, but above all human health.
The aim of the programme according to experts was to sensitise the frontline field functionaries across the valley about necessary safeguards that should be ensured in combating any outbreak, while as effectively dealing with half-truths regarding the disease and its impact on poultry products in the markets.
At the outset, VC SKUAST-Kashmir Prof Mushtaq Ahmad who inaugurated the three day event highlighted the need of combating any misinformation genergated during such outbreaks running our evolving poultry sector.
He said that while the threat of the disease could be effectively handled by informing the farmers about maintaining proper hygiene at their poultry units, besides veterinarians should also lend a helping hand to counter false information and guide people on safe consumption of poultry products.
He hoped that the programme would go in a long way to encourage the veterinarians in the field to manage any such threat of bird flu at the very inception
Former Director Education at SKUAST and Head of Veterinary Microbiology and Immunology at the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry
(FVScAH) Dr Shakil Wani while sensitising the fraternity about keeping pace with developments around and work tirelessly to achieve the desired resul;ts on time using technology.
He said that given the fact that how many countries have tackled the Covid pandemaic, the veterinarians could replicate the same to ensure that they tackle any of the outbreaks at the earliest within their meagre resources at hand.
Dr MA Paul , Dean FVScAH Shuhama said that veterinarians have an increased role in fighting the zoonotic disease and they should ensure that people are not robbed of the necessary protein intake in wake of eruption of such disease.
He said that their faculty is committed to work closely with field functionaries and other allied departments in combating any of the threat and the programme is aimed at boosting this coordination within the fraternity and suggestions generated during the programme would be put forth before the authorities to help them also deal with such situations.
Professor Masood H Mir while speaking on the occasion said that given that fact that cases of bird flu have not been reported here and the poultry imports have also been limited significantly due to closure of highway, however, veterinarians across the valley must remain vigilant to any future threat as the virus can make entry in the region with migratory birds in the wetlands.
Earlier welcoming the participants across the valley Professor Abdul Hai who is incharge of the outreach centre said that since the very inception of the center only last year that they have been trying to disseminate required information about the livestock and its health needs.

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