Bird Flu in Maharashtra: 18,700 avian influenza fatalities reported so far
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Avian influenza has now spread across several states in the country including Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and more.

It is observed on Jan 25, a total of 260 poultry birds have been found dead in Maharashtra from various districts viz. Satara 2, Solapur 32, Jalgaon 165, Jalna 16, Nanded 3, Amravati 20 and 22 at Nagpur. Mortality has been reported in other 16 birds like Herons, sparrows, Parrots etc with the break of Mumbai 2, Ratnagiri 3, Jalgaon 6, Beed 1, Parbhani, and 4 at Buldhana. Total 13 crows have been found dead in the state with a district-wise breakup of 7 in Mumbai, Ratnagiri 3, Beed 2 and 1 in Akola. Thus, in Maharashtra, a total of 289 birds have died on Jan 25.

The samples are being sent to the National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal and Disease Investigation Section, Pune for testing. A total of 18,700 deaths of various birds have been recorded till the date, since Jan 8.

On Jan 25, the results of the testing of samples submitted earlier have been received from the National Institute of High-Security Animal Disease (NIHSAD), Bhopal and some samples from poultry birds have been found positive for Avian Influenza. These positive samples for Avian Influenza are from ten places viz. Gahunje Tq. Maval in Pune district, Nepatgaon Tq. Pandharpur and Ganeshwadi Tq. Mangalvedha in Solapur district, Wathoda Baglan in Nashik district, Shindodi Tq. Sangamner and Sade Tq. Rahuri in Ahmednagar district, Devgaon Tanda (Sheritanda) Tq. Mukhed in Nanded district, Krushnapur Tq. Kalamanuri in Hingoli district, Pimpalgaon Tq. Barshi Takli in Akola District and Bankhed Tq. Chikhali in Buldhana district. A peacock sample from Loni Shirur Kasar in Beed district has been found to be positive for bird flu.

Wherever the positive reports in Poultry Birds and Ducks have been communicated, the process of declaring the “Infected Zone” and activities have been initiated to enforce the prescribed preventive measures, as per the provisions of the Prevention and Control of Infectious and Contagious Diseases in Animals Act, 2009. All poultry birds, eggs, poultry feed and droppings within a radius of 1 km from the poultry farm has been scientifically destroyed. So far 51,090 poultry birds, 8 ducks, 38,798 eggs and 55,476 Kg poultry feed have been destroyed from infected zone. The notification has been issued in all above mentioned epicenters and culling of poultry birds, destruction of eggs, droppings, manure, feed has been initiated in the radius of one Km from the infected poultry farm.

The Government of Maharashtra has sanctioned a compensation package of Rs.130 Lakh for culling of poultry and other birds, eggs and poultry feed and operational cost of disease control within 1 km radius of the infected area, under the Bird Flu Disease Control Program. Thus, poultry farmers within a 1 km radius of the infected zone are being compensated for the loss due to culling of their poultry and other birds, eggs and poultry feed.

This includes mainly laying birds up to eight weeks of age at a cost of Rs. 20 / - per bird, Layer birds above eight weeks of age Rs. 90 / - per bird, Broiler birds up to six weeks of age Rs. 20 / - per bird, Broilers above six weeks Rs. 70 / - per bird, Poultry eggs Rs. 3 / - per egg, poultry feed Rs. 12 / - per kg, ducks up to six weeks of age Rs. 35 / - per bird and ducks above six week age Rs. 135 / - per bird. 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 zone will be initiated after issuing the Sanitization Certificate.

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