Culling of poultry birds underway in Maharashtra, Haryana: Centre

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New Delhi, Jan 17 (PTI) The Centre on Sunday said culling of poultry birds is underway in Maharashtra and Haryana, while fresh cases of bird flu have been confirmed in poultry in Mumbai as well as in the Mandsaur district of Madhya Pradesh.

So far, bird flu has been confirmed in 11 states -- Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Gujarat.

However, the Centre has requested states to 'rethink their decisions to impose ban on sale of poultry and poultry products and allow such selling sourced from the non-infected areas/states'.

In India, bird flu or avian influenza is spread mainly by migratory birds coming into India during winter months between September and March. The disease is zoonotic.

In a statement, the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying said bird flu cases have been confirmed in poultry at the Central Poultry Development Organisation (CPDO), Mumbai, and Kheda Road in the Mandsaur district of Madhya Pradesh.

Not only poultry, the disease has also been confirmed in crows at Panna, Sanchi, Raisen and Balaghat; in crow and owl at Sheopur; while in swan and pigeon, in the Mandsaur district of Madhya Pradesh, it said.

The viral disease has also been confirmed in crow and pigeon in Bastar, while crow in the Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh. Similarly, the disease has also been confirmed in crow samples from Haridwar and Lansdowne in Uttarakhand.

Additionally, in Delhi, Heron samples in Rohini have been tested positive for bird flu, it added.

On the culling operation, the ministry said it is underway in all the affected epicentres, including CPDO in Maharashtra. The culling operation of poultry is continuing in the epicenters of Haryana.

The Maharashtra Animal Husbandry Department have started a toll-free helpline for farmers to report any unusual mortality of birds.

The state government has put requisite information about the disease in line with the revised Avian Influenza Action Plan 2021, it added.

Further, the ministry said rapid response teams (RRPs) have been deployed in Madhya Pradesh.

'Today, samples tested from Rajasthan and Gujarat have been found negative for avian influenza,' the ministry noted.

According to the statement, the central team formed for monitoring the situation in the affected areas of the country are visiting the affected sites and conducting epidemiological studies.

The ministry said consumers should not pay heed to baseless rumours that are unscientific and often lead to confusion. These adversely affect not only poultry and egg markets but also poultry and maize farmers, who are already affected by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. PTI LUX HRS hrs