Mumbai: A total of 168 birds including 142 poultry birds have been found dead due to avian influenza in Maharashtra. The samples are being sent to National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal and Disease Investigation Section, Pune for testing. A total of 19406 deaths of various birds have been recorded till date since the outbreak of avian influenza since January 8.
According to the department of animal husbandry, so far, 71773 poultry birds, 44046 eggs and 63234 kg poultry feed have been destroyed from infected zones. The government has delegated powers to the district collectors under the Prevention and Control of Infectious and Contagious Diseases in Animals act, 2009 to take measures for the prevention and control of bird flu.
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 to 10 km radius area from the infected zones will be initiated after issuing the sanitization certificate.
The department has appealed that consumption of chicken and eggs should not be reduced or stopped by citizens on account of rumours and misconceptions. Chicken and eggs are the cheapest source of protein. Properly cooked chicken and boiled eggs are safe for human consumption. The department has urged the citizens that they should not consume raw, half cooked poultry meat or eggs and not to spread misconceptions and rumours based on unscientific information about bird flu.