BMC workers sanitise the area in front of bird enclosure at Lokmanya Tilak BMC Market , in Mumbai on January 14. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT file)
BMC workers sanitise the area in front of bird enclosure at Lokmanya Tilak BMC Market , in Mumbai on January 14. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT file)

Avian flu: 1,795 complaints of bird deaths in Mumbai, says BMC

Complaints include deaths of crows, pigeons and other birds, but not chicken, said BMC, even as it added that in many cases, there are multiple calls for a single death, raising the number of complaints higher than that of actual deaths
By Mehul R Thakkar
PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 02:51 PM IST

In the past two weeks since bird flu was reported in Mumbai, the Disaster Management cell of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has received 1,795 complaints of bird deaths from different parts of the city.

These complaints include deaths of crows, pigeons and other birds, but not chicken, said BMC.

A BMC official said, “In many cases, there are multiple phone calls reporting a single death. Hence, the number of complaints is higher than that of actual bird deaths.”

As of now, Mumbai has reported two confirmed bird flu deaths. In the state, more than 6,000 birds have been culled but none in Mumbai yet.

Also read | Bird flu spreads among poultry in 5 of 11 afflicted states despite culling

Deonar abattoir general manager, Dr Yogesh Shetye, said, “We have not undertaken culling of any bird because of bird flu yet. All deaths that are being reported in Mumbai are of crows, pigeons and other birds. However, no death of any chicken has been reported yet.”

Since the outbreak of bird flu in the city, Byculla zoo authorities in Mumbai are on high alert as the zoo is home to over 200 exotic and aquatic birds.

A zoo official said, “At Byculla zoo, there is no mingling of caged birds with migratory birds, and hence we have not reported any symptom of bird flu or any case.”

The BMC’s market department is also conducting visits to retailers and wholesalers dealing in poultry since for two weeks now in order to create awareness about bird flu.

Meanwhile, since the outbreak of bird flu, the demand for chicken has gone down by 5-15%, according to poultry sellers’ association in Maharashtra, while that of meat and sea food has risen, leading to price hike in these products.

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