Bird Flu:

Cases of bird flu have been confirmed in ten Indian states. (Qamar Sibtain/IANS photo)

NEW DELHI – Amid the spread of bird flu in ten states across the country, the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Jan. 13 asked the states not to ban the supply of poultry and poultry products from other states, stating that it would cause a “negative impact” on the poultry industry.

Taking note that many states are banning poultry from other states, the ministry added that the states were requested to reconsider such a decision. This comes as cases of avian influenza have been confirmed in 10 states.

“Further, cases of unnatural mortality of birds have been reported in Ganderbal district of Jammu and Kashmir and 4 districts of Jharkhand,” the release said.

“On January 12, 2021, a VC was organized under the chairmanship of Secretary, DAHD and was attended by representatives from 17 states. Through the meeting, states were advised to efficiently manage the spread of Avian Influenza in their respective states in accordance with the Action Plan 2021,” the release further said.

To deal with the situation, the states were asked to coordinate with the department of health and forest and sensitize them about the issue, the ministry said.

States were also asked to maintain a sufficient supply of protective equipment and maintain biosecurity measures in poultry farms. The ministry said states were also directed to identify BSL-II labs at the state level for speeding up the identification of infection in the state and timely introduction of control mechanism.

The states were also asked to ensure that the infection does not spread among poultry, as it would have a high economic cost for the poultry farmers.

“It was found that many states are banning the supply of poultry and poultry products from other states. As this would add to the negative impact on the poultry industry, the states were requested to reconsider such a decision. Awareness generation activities through newspaper advertisements, seminar etc. are being conducted by several states,” the release said.

The states were encouraged to continue such awareness generation activities with support from their state directorate of information and public relations and were assured about the availability of funds for such activities.

The release said that states should issue advisories on do’s and don’ts regarding the consumption of poultry and eggs, so as to avoid spreading of rumors/ misinformation.

On Jan. 11, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said poultry farms, zoos, water bodies will have to be constantly monitored to contain the disease. He had also asked all states to remain on alert to control the spread of the disease.

“Bird flu has been confirmed in Kerala, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, UP, MP, Delhi and Maharashtra. Poultry farms, zoos, water bodies have to be constantly monitored to control the spread of bird flu,” said PM Modi.

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