Maharashtra starts toll free number for bird flu

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NEW DELHI: Amid rising bird flu cases in the state, Maharashtra government has started a toll free helpline for farmers to report any unusual mortality of birds after confirmation of avian influenza cases in poultry in Central Poultry Development Organization (CPDO) in Mumbai apart from 9 districts including Latur, Parbhani, Nanded, Pune, Solapur, Yavatmal, Ahmednagar, Beed and Raigad.

“The government has delegated all its requisite powers on district collectors under Prevention And Control of Infectious and Contagious Diseases in Animals Act, 2009. This will enable local administration to take immediate action for controlling the spread of disease,” said a senior Maharashtra government official.

He said that the state government has taken steps in line with the revised Central Poultry Development Organization for both, the departmental officials and the general public.

“We have taken proactive action and necessary notifications regarding “infected area”, etc. have been issued to check spread of the disease,” the official said.

The central team formed for monitoring the situation in the affected areas of the country are visiting the affected sites and conducting epidemiological studies.

“States have been asked not to impose ban on sale of poultry and poultry products and allow such selling sourced from the non-infected areas and states. Consumption of well cooked chicken and eggs is safe for humans,” said a senior union animal husbandry ministry official.

He said that state rapid response teams (RRTs) have been deployed while culling of poultry birds has been started in all the affected epicentres in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana.

In Delhi, heron sample in Rohini has been tested positive for avian influenza while samples from Rajasthan and Gujarat have been found negative.

Apart from that, avian influenza has been confirmed in birds and crows in 6 districts of Madhya Pradesh, two districts in Chhattisgarh and in Haridwar and Lansdowne forest range of Uttarakhand.

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