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Bird flu: States told to increase awareness among consumers of eggs and chicken

Bird flu: States told to increase awareness among consumers of eggs and chicken

Indian states that are still unaffected by Avian Influenza (AI) have been told to keep a strict vigil on any unusual mortality amongst birds, a statement issued by the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying on the AI status said today. After confirmation of Avian Influenza positive samples from ICAR-NIHSAD in poultry (two poultry farms) of Panchkula district, Haryana and reporting of positive samples in migratory birds in Junagadh district, Gujarat and in crows in Sawai Madhopur, Pali, Jaisalmer and Mohar districts of Rajasthan, the Department has suggested the affected states to contain the disease as per action plan on Avian Influenza.

So far, the disease has been confirmed from six states (Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Gujarat). It is learnt that culling operations have been completed in both the affected districts of Kerala and the disinfection process is underway. The ministry also revealed that central teams have been deployed to visit the affected states of Kerala, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh for monitoring and for epidemiological investigation.

Unusual mortality of 16 birds has also been reported in DDA park Hastsal Village, Delhi. The animal husbandry department of NCT of Delhi, has reportedly taken precautionary measures and sent samples to ICAR-NIHSAD and test report is awaited. Awareness among poultry farmers and general public (consumers of eggs and chicken) about the disease is of foremost importance.

Communication from Secretary (AHD) has also been sent to Health Ministry to restore consumer confidence in consumption of chicken and eggs. Appropriate advisories have been requested to be issued from the Health Ministry in this regard so that consumer confidence affected by rumors is put to rest. Also, states have been requested to increase awareness regarding safety of poultry or poultry products that were safe for consumption following boiling/cooking procedures for which central support would be available.