Bird flu in Maharashtra: 302 birds, including 269 poultry birds, dead

A total of 302 birds, including 269 poultry birds, died due to avian influenza in Maharashtra. Such cases were reported mainly amongst herons, sparrows, parrots and crows. The samples are being sent to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal, and Diseases Investigation Section, Pune, for testing. A total of 19,827 deaths of various birds have been recorded till the date since the outbreak began on January 8.

According to the Department of Animal Husbandry, so far, 71,883 poultry birds, 44,146 eggs and 63,339 kilograms of poultry feed have been destroyed within a radius of 1 km from the affected poultry farms. The state government has enforced measures as per the provisions of the Prevention and Control of Infectious and Contagious Diseases in Animals Act, 2009.

Surveillance work continues in places where positive results have been reported in other species of birds, excluding poultry. The process of cloacal and oro-pharyngeal swabs, dropping and serum samples of the birds from 1-10 km radius area from the infected zones will be initiated after issuing the sanitisation certificate.

The government has conferred powers to the district collectors for the prevention, control and eradication of avian influenza. The local administration has started the process of declaring an alert zone in areas where poultry birds have died of bird flu.

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Free Press Journal