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New Delhi : Till January 17, 2021, cases of Avian Influenza (AI) have been confirmed in poultry at Central Poultry Development Organisation (CPDO (WR), Mumbai in Maharashtra, and Kheda Road in Mandsaur district in Madhya Pradesh.

Further,  Avian Influenza has been confirmed in crows at Panna, Sanchi, Raisen, Balaghat, and in birds at Sheopur (crow, owl) and Mandsaur (swan, pigeon) districts in Madhya Pradesh; Bastar (crow, pigeon), and Dantewade (crow) districts of Chhattisgarh; crow samples from Haridwar and Lansdowne forest range of Uttarakhand. Additionally, in Delhi, Heron sample in Rohini has tested positive for avian influenza.

In Maharashtra, RRTs ( Real Time Reverse Transcription) has been deployed and culling of poultry birds is underway in all the affected epicentres including CPDO, Mumbai. Further, in Madhya Pradesh, RRTs have been deployed. Culling operation of poultry is continuing in the epicentres of Haryana. On January 17, 2021, samples tested from Rajasthan and Gujarat have been found negative for AI, according to a PIB release.

The central team formed for monitoring the situation in the affected areas of the country are visiting the affected sites and conducting epidemiological studies.

States have been requested to rethink their decisions to impose ban on sale of poultry and poultry products and allow such selling sourced from the non-infected areas/states. Consumption of well cooked chicken and eggs is safe for humans. Further, consumers should not pay heed to baseless rumours that are unscientific and often lead to confusion. They adversely affect not only poultry and egg markets but also poultry and maize farmers, who are already affected by the COVID 19 pandemic lockdown.

Maharashtra Animal Husbandry Department have started a Toll Free Helpline Number for farmers to report any unusual mortality of birds. The state government has put requisite information on Avian Influenza in line with the revised Avian Influenza Action Plan 2021 for both, the departmental officials and the general public. As gathered, necessary notifications regarding “infected area”, etc. to check spread of the disease, have already been issued by the state.

In order to contain the incidences of Bird Flu without delay, the exercise of the powers conferred under Prevention And Control of Infectious and Contagious Diseases in Animals Act, 2009, the state government has delegated all its requisite powers on District Collectors within their local jurisdiction in the state for prevention, control and eradication of Avian Influenza.