A total of 1,844 birds including a record 1,843 poultry birds have been found dead due to avian influenza in Maharashtra. The samples are being sent to the National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal and Disease Investigation Section, Pune.
The department of animal husbandry said so far 4,68,764 poultry birds including 3,78,926 birds from Navapur in Nandurbar district, 44,990 eggs, and 64,707 poultry feed have been scientifically destroyed from infected zones within a radius of 1 km from the poultry farm. The process of declaring ‘’infected zone’’ has been initiated wherever the bird flu positive reports in poultry bird and ducks were reported.
Navapur with 27 poultry farms with 9,75,000 poultry birds is a poultry hub in Maharashtra. The district administration has formed special teams to carry out the culling of poultry birds after hens from more than 11 farms were detected with bird flu. The culling operations are underway.
The government has provided compensation of Rs 42.32 lakh to the poultry farmers in the infected zones where the culling of poultry birds, disposal of eggs, and poultry feed have been carried out for containment of bird flu.
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 oropharyngeal 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.