The Centre on Monday said bird flu has been confirmed in poultry birds in five states so far and culling operations are underway, while nine states have reported the disease in crows, migratory and wild birds. Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Chhattisgarh are among the five states where culling of poultry birds is being done by rapid response teams (RRTs), it said.
In India, bird flu or avian influenza is spread mainly by migratory birds coming into the country during winter months between September and March. The disease is zoonotic. In a statement, the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying said: "Till 18th January, outbreaks of avian influenza have been confirmed in five states for poultry birds and in nine states for crow/migratory/wild birds." In Delhi, the disease has been confirmed in samples of dead heron from Tis Hazari and crow from Red Fort, the ministry said, adding that an advisory in this regard has been issued to the state government for necessary action.
In Maharashtra, RRTs have been deployed and culling of poultry birds is underway in all the affected epicentres. Culling operations have been completed in the Central Poultry Development Organisation (CPDO), Mumbai and cleaning and disinfection is in process.
Similarly, culling and sanitisation operations have been completed in the epicentres of Latur district. In Madhya Pradesh, RRTs have been deployed for culling of poultry birds in 1 km radius of epicentres in Harda and Mandsaur districts. The RRTs have also been deployed in Balod district of Chhattisgarh.
According to the ministry, the central team formed for monitoring the situation in the affected areas of the country is visiting the affected sites. It has visited Maharashtra to monitor the epicentres of the outbreak and is conducting epidemiological studies. A visit to Kerala is over. The central government is taking continuous efforts to generate awareness about bird flu through different platforms including social media handles, the statement added.