A worker disinfects the poultry farm in Shivapur village to protect chickens from bird flu decease. Vilas Dhonde, owner of the poultry said he disinfects the poultry everyday in Pune, on Sunday, January 17, 2021. (HT Photo)
A worker disinfects the poultry farm in Shivapur village to protect chickens from bird flu decease. Vilas Dhonde, owner of the poultry said he disinfects the poultry everyday in Pune, on Sunday, January 17, 2021. (HT Photo)

Bird flu outbreak: 836 more birds dead; over 25,000 poultry birds culled across Maharashtra

The count of bird flu deaths in the state has soared to 5,987 in the last 10 days
By Faisal Malik, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 11:31 PM IST

The count of bird flu deaths in the state has soared to 5,987 in the last 10 days. Additionally, over 10,000 poultry birds in eight districts have been culled after bird flu deaths were confirmed by the ICAR-National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), Bhopal, a nodal body for testing bird flu cases.

This is in addition to nearly 15,000 poultry culled in one village each in Parbhani and Latur after ICAR-NIHSAD recently confirmed bird flu in poultry birds.

On Sunday, 836 bird deaths were reported, whereas on Saturday around 1,200 birds died across the state, officials from the state animal husbandry department said.

The ICAR-NIHSAD has confirmed bird flu in poultry chickens at 11 places covering eight districts — Parbhani, Latur, Nanded, Pune, Solapur, Beed, Ahmednagar and Raigad — on Friday.

“Following confirmation from the central laboratory, the culling of poultry birds started within a one-km radius of infected areas from Saturday and culled 10,433 poultry birds till Sunday. This is apart from destroying eggs and pigeons in infected areas,” said Sachindra Pratap Singh, state animal husbandry commissioner on Sunday.

The local administration has culled 707 poultry birds at two villages in Parbhani district, 781 at two villages in Latur, 1,263 poultry birds at two villages in Nanded, 5,557 at two villages in Pune, 600 at a village in Solapur district, 1,244 at a village in Beed and 281 poultry were culled at a village in Raigad district, stated a release issued by the animal husbandry department.

“We have decided to continue our surveillance in Mumbai, Thane, Ratnagiri, Yavatmal and Beed where bird flu has caused deaths in other birds such as crows, parrots, pond egrets, peacocks etc,” said the commissioner.

The state government already empowered all district collectors for immediate implementation of a containment plan, if they suspect deaths are due to bird flu. It, however, has not banned the supply and sale of poultry birds in the state except the one-km area of the poultry farms where bird flu was confirmed.

According to the containment plan prepared by the Central government, the local administration will have to cull poultry birds within a one-km radius of that particular poultry farm where bird deaths were found due to avian influenza or bird flu. A surveillance zone within a periphery of 10km will have to be created, which means no birds will be allowed to sell or purchase in that area. The particular village, where that poultry farm is situated, will have to be declared as a prohibited area, which means no one can enter inside and no one can come out. A medical team has to be set up for the examination of local people.

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