As bird flu scare continues to spread across the nation, the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, GoI, on Saturday confirmed that domestic fowl in Dhantwal west in Udhampur district of J&K tested positive for Avian Influenza. The collected samples turned positive for H5N8 strain of Avian Influenza virus by real-time RT-PCR.

The government order also directed the J&K government to take necessary action to contain the spread by following measures:

  1. Declaration of infected and surveillance areas
  2. Restricting access to infected premises
  3. Destruction of birds
  4. Disposal of dead birds and infected materials
  5. Disinfection and sanitsation of the premises

In addition to these preventive measures, the government also ordered mandatory surveillance to be carried out over a radius of 10 kms from Dhantwal west. Further surveillance across the state is to be intensified.

Bird Flu

Bird flu in India

As on January 23, outbreaks of Avian Influenza (Bird flu) have been confirmed in nine states, including Kerala, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab) for poultry birds and in 12 States (Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab, for crow/migratory/wild birds, said the ministry in a statement.

All the states are reporting to the department on a daily basis regarding the control measures adopted by them based on the Revised Action Plan for Prevention, Control and Containment of Avian Influenza 2021, said the statement.

Bird flu
IANS File Photo

The poultry industry of the country had not yet recovered fully due to the havoc caused by Covid-19, and now the recent outbreak of bird flu at the beginning of the year has severely affected the poultry business. Despite the elaborate arrangements made by the central and state government agencies for prevention of outbreak of bird flu, it is safe to eat cooked chicken and eggs. The difficulties faced by poultry farmers have not subsided as they have been forced to sell cocks of Rs 100 at Rs 50.