Avian influenza

Mass culling of poultry birds can be avoided, High Court told

Poultry Farmers’ Association, Panchkula farm pitch for humane means

Mass culling of poultry birds can be avoided, High Court told

Representational photo

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 19

Claiming that mass culling of poultry birds for controlling avian influenza could be avoided, the Haryana Poultry Farmers Association and a Panchkula-based farm today moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the Union of India, the state of Haryana and other respondents. Among other things, it was contended that approximately 62,000 birds, owned by the petitioner farm, had already been culled. However, no compensation was paid till date.

What the court said

Issuing a notice of motion, Justice Mahabir Singh Sindhu made it clear that further action would not be initiated on the basis of the order dated January 11 vide which directions were issued to carry out activities to control and contain avian influenza.

Issuing a notice of motion, Justice Mahabir Singh Sindhu made it clear that further action would not be initiated on the basis of the order dated January 11 vide which directions were issued to carry out activities to control and contain avian influenza. The petitioners had claimed that the order was construed to mean stamping out all live poultry birds, regardless of their health status.

Taking up the petition filed through counsel Aashish Chopra, Justice Sindhu also fixed February 2 as the next date of hearing in the matter. As the case came up for preliminary hearing, Chopra contended that the action amounted to disregard of the provisions of the Prevention and Control of Infectious and Contagious Diseases in Animals Act, 2009.

Chopra contended that the Act provided for alternative and more humane means of controlling avian influenza. Section 25 of the 2009 Act made it clear that the veterinary officer had to pass an order in writing, if at all euthanasia was to be resorted to. In the present facts, it could not be ignored that such orders were apparently not passed by the veterinary officer.

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