A total of 1,619 birds including 1,445 poultry birds died due to avian influenza in Maharashtra. The samples are being sent to National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases, Bhopal and Disease Investigation Section, Pune for testing. A total of 20,372 deaths of various birds have been recorded till date since January 8.
According to the department of animal husbandry, so far 72,170 poultry birds, 44,686 eggs and 63,339 kg poultry feed have been scientifically destroyed from infected zones with a radius of 1 km from the poultry farms. The government has delegated powers to the district collectors for the prevention and control of bird flu under the Prevention and Control of Infectious and Contagious Diseases in Animals Act, 2009. The local administration has declared the infected zone wherever the reports of deaths of poultry birds and ducks were communicated.
Surveillance work is continued at the places where positive results have been reported in other species of birds excluding poultry. The process of collection of Cloacal and oro-pharyngeal swabs, dropping and serum samples of the birds from the 1-10 km radius area from the infected zones will be initiated after issuing the sanitization certificate.
The department has reiterated its appeal saying that consumption of chicken and eggs should not be reduced or stopped by citizens on account of rumours and misconceptions as they are the cheapest source of protein.