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Pune dist has no cases of bird flu; admin forms 13 rapid response teams

Following the detection of bird flu cases in Parbhani district of Marathwada, the state animal husbandry department has formed 13 rapid response teams in Pune district
By Jigar Hindocha, Pune
UPDATED ON JAN 12, 2021 02:32 PM IST

Following the detection of bird flu cases in Parbhani district of Marathwada, the state animal husbandry department has formed 13 rapid response teams in Pune district. These teams, according to officials, are placed at block level with each team having four members who are coordinating with veterinary officials at the ground level.

Till now, no case has been detected in Pune district, said the animal husbandry department on Monday.

Bird flu outbreak in Maharashtra was confirmed on Sunday with the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), Bhopal, confirming the cause of death of 800 poultry birds (chicken) in Parbhani due to avian influenza, also known as bird flu.

“In Pune district, no unusual deaths of birds have been found till now. Since the past five days we have been on alert and we have created rapid response squads all over Pune district at the block level and they are in constant touch with veterinary officials who are monitoring the situation at the ground level,” said Dr Shitalkumar Mukane, Pune district deputy commissioner, animal husbandry department. Mukane is heading the rapid response teams at the district level.

“No samples of birds have been so far brought to Pune. In fact till now all the samples which have been found in Pune district have been directly transported to NIHSAD,” added Mukane.

The animal husbandry officials are also in touch with the forest department, water department and Zilla Parishad.

“If any unusual death is noticed within Pune district, we will be bringing samples to the Department of Investigation Section (DIS), Pune and if the traces of H5N1 virus is found they will be transported to National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), Bhopal, for further testing,” added Mukane.

Pune district has 325 veterinary hospitals. Officials from these hospitals are keeping track of poultry farms and also conducting surveillance of any deaths of birds and chicken in nearby places. The job of all these officials at the end of the day is to give daily update to the rapid response team.

“In Pune city as well, our officials are keeping a watch on all the poultry farms,” added Mukane.

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Rapid response teams are placed at Haveli, Shirur, Bhor, Khed, Baramati, Indapur, Ambegaon, Purandar, Junnar, Mulshi, Maval, Daund and Velhe.

Unusual deaths

The unusual deaths of births have been reported at various places including Aurangabad, Solapur, Beed and Latur along with Mumbai and Nagpur.

Taking serious note of stray incidents where birds were found dead, the forest department has increased its watch on Jayakwadi bird sanctuary where migratory birds visit in large numbers. Divisional forest officer Vijay Satpute said surveillance teams have been formed to keep an eye on migratory birds at the sanctuary.

Meanwhile, Ahmednagar district’s Pathardi village also reported unusual deaths of poultry birds, promoting local administration to collect samples and send it to Pune and Bhopal labs. Around 50 backyard poultry birds on Monday were found dead at Pathardi’s a poultry farm following which district collector RB Bhosale confirmed the deaths saying that he has ordered an investigation to ascertain the cause of death.

“50 backyard poultry birds in Ahmednagar district’s Pathardi village have also reported unusual deaths. Samples will be brought to Department of Investigation Section (DIS), Pune and it will be transported to National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), Bhopal. No tests will be conducted in Pune,” said Dr DD Parkale additional commissioner of animal husbandry department.

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