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BHOPAL: Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, on Wednesday, said the government had temporarily banned the entry of poultry items from Kerala and other southern states because of bird flu. The ban would be for a limited period, Chouhan said at a meeting with senior officers at his residence on Wednesday morning. The ban is part of precautionary measures taken to keep bird flu away from the state, he said. Chouhan directed the officials to take all precautions to check bird flu.

Although bird flu cases were yet to be reported from any part of the state, all caution should be taken so that it might not happen, Chouhan said. The CM discussed with the officials how to keep bird flu at bay. There was no bird flu case in MP, yet, all precautionary measures should be taken, he said. The districts had been informed about the Centre's guidelines on bird flu and steps had been taken after the deaths of crows in different parts of the state, he added. However, the National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases is yet to spell out whether those crows died because of bird flu. An alert had been issued to take all precautions against the disease before it could spread, Chouhan said.

The chief minister directed the officials to get the Centre's guidelines implemented in the districts. He also asked the animal husbandry department and its sister concerns to remain alert, check all poultry items and to make people aware about bird flu. Although the crows have died, the virus is not known to infect hens. Besides that, there has been no report of unnatural deaths of chickens from any part of the state. Those who eat poultry should cook chickens properly before eating.

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