Hard Boiled

Feb. 20 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is staying tough on bird flu regulations, despite reports that an Indian man suspected to have died of avian influenza, was in fact killed by a bacterial infection. Indian health officials have ruled out bird flu in the death of an Indian man after laboratory tests on Sunday showed otherwise, AFP reports said.

Sri Lanka re-imposed a ban on any poultry related imports from India over the weekend, following the scare. The ban however will still remain indefinitely.

“The issue is not whether the man was killed by the virus. Poultry in India have been affected by bird flu and that still poses a threat to the local industry,” Dr. S K Amarasekera, Director General of the Department of Animal Production and Health told LBO.

“We will not be issuing permits for imports of any poultry from India and from any other country that is affected by bird flu, because we know the risk is high.”

According to news reports, India has sealed 49 poultry farms and will cull up to one million birds that are suspected to have the virus.

The Department is keeping a close watch for any local outbreaks of the disease, which could enter the country through migratory birds