Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. (HT file)
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. (HT file)

Poultry ban lifted as samples test negative

Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal also said he has directed for withdrawal of orders to restrict trade and import of chicken stocks
By Abhishek Dey, Ashish Mishra
UPDATED ON JAN 15, 2021 01:55 AM IST

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said that he has issued directions to allow the poultry market to reopen and withdraw the temporary restrictions on import of live birds and packaged chicken from other states, hours after laboratory reports suggested that avian influenza had not affected poultry in Delhi.

“Samples taken from poultry markets have tested negative with respect to bird flu. Have directed to open the poultry market and withdraw the orders to restrict trade and import of chicken stocks,” Kejriwal said in a tweet.

Delhi’s only authorised wholesale poultry market is in Ghazipur. On January 9, the government had announced a 10-day closure of the market as a preventive action in the light of the bird flu scare. The government also temporarily prohibited the import of live birds and packed chicken from other states.

On Wednesday, the municipal corporations in Delhi issued another order which prohibited sale of chicken in the city -- which essentially affected retailers who could earlier sell from their existing stocks (procured before any ban was imposed). The municipal bodies have so far not said anything about lifting the ban imposed by them.

Earlier on Thursday, the animal husbandry department in Delhi confirmed that avian influenza has not been detected in poultry in Delhi, even though over 200 crows and several ducks were found dead in locations across the city over the past six days.

As many as 100 samples were collected from poultry from the wholesale market in Ghazipur before the market was closed. “The results for all 100 samples are negative,” said Dr Rakesh Singh, director of Delhi government’s animal husbandry department, adding, “So far, in Delhi, only crows and ducks have been found infected.”

A total of 158 samples belonging to different birds -- crows, pigeons, ducks and poultry -- were sent to labs in Bhopal and Jalandhar for test, of which reports on 108 samples have arrived, said another official in the department who did not wish to be identified.

In all, eight samples have tested positive so far. They were of dead crows and ducks picked up from Sanjay Lake park in Mayur Vihar Phase 2, Dwarka Sector 9 and Mayur Vihar Phase 3. All ducks in Sanjay Lake were later culled. The samples for which results are awaited include crows, ducks and pigeons, said the second official.

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