Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing

Four poultry (broiler) farms in two villages in Darla, Chukha have reported an outbreak of Infectious Bursal Disease (IBD), the livestock officials have confirmed.

IBD is a highly contagious disease that affects young chickens. It is caused by Infectious Bursal Disease Virus.

The officials came to know of the disease on January 5.

Chukha’s chief livestock officer, Sherab Tenzin, said there were close to 2,400 vulnerable birds.

“About 260 to 300 birds have died until January 7,” he said. “Right now, everything is under control. We have our team continuously monitoring the situation.”

IBD is not an airborne disease.

The birds of the four farms are currently isolated and are being monitored continuously.

However, since IBD doesn’t have treatment, the infected areas will be declared red zones and will be disinfected. The dead birds will be buried with bleaching powder in a 1.5-metre-deep pit.

Livestock officials say that the outbreak could have happened due to the lack of vaccination of birds from the source across the border.

Sherab Tenzin explained the birds must be vaccinated at least twice after reaching the farm.

The supply of chicken meat from these farms has been currently suspended.

Sherab Tenzin said Darla Gewog still has a stock of more than 9,000 broiler birds and about 10,000 layer birds.

The gewogs such as Darla, Doongna, Metekha, Sampheling, Phuentsholing, Chapcha, Bjachhog, and Lokchina in Chukha have been able to supply livestock products to Thimphu and Paro from December 23, 2020.

The dzongkhag supplied 5.17 metric tonnes (MT) of chicken to Thimphu and Paro, 6125.83 dozens of eggs, 760kg pork, 7.2MT cheese, 1.82MT butter, and 3.22MT milk.