Samples of dead hens found in two villages in Parbhani and Beed districts, both in Marathwada region, of Maharashtra have tested positive for bird flu, following which culling of over 2,000 birds is being carried out on Saturday, officials said.
These samples were taken from Kupta village in Selu tehsil of Parbhani district and from Lokhandi Sawargaon village in Beed district.
"These spots have been declared as a prohibitory area and culling process has begun there," officials told PTI.
They said transportation of poultry products has been stopped in these areas.
Culling is basically the mass slaughter of domestic poultry birds, such as chickens and ducks, to contain the spread of bird flu. During the culling process, all domestic birds in an infected area, where cases of bird flu have been reported, are slaughtered and their remains are buried.
"Earlier, samples of hens found dead in Kupta and Lokhandi Sawargaon were sent for testing. Their results confirming bird flu returned on Friday night," officials told.
"In Kupta, culling process will be undertaken on Saturday, and around 468 birds will be culled," Collector Deepak Muglikar said.
In Lokhandi Sawargaon village, about 1,600 birds are expected to be culled, said Dr Ravi Surewad of the Animal Husbandry department
"We have formed two teams to carry out the culling of birds in Lokhandi Sawargaon village. As the birds to be culled are not from poultries, it will take time to carry out the process. A 2-metre pit is ready. Calcium Carbonate is spread on the bed of this pit. Cervical dislocation of hens is done by our teams and they are placed in this pit," he said.
In Maharashtra, 3,949 birds have been found dead since January 8, officials said on Friday.
Earlier, more than 3,400 poultry birds were culled at Murumba village in Parbhani district after bird flu was confirmed as the cause of death of hundreds of hens there.
In Kendrewadi and Sukni villages of Latur district, also in Marathwada region, over 11,000 birds were culled earlier to stop the spread of bird flu infection.
Cases of avian influenza have been reported from Mumbai, Thane, Parbhani, Latur, Beed and Dapoli (Ratnagiri).