Bird flu: 8 states, UTs ban import of live birds, poultry

The central government has intensified coordination with state and Union Territories to contain the spread of bird flu following reports of the death of numerous birds and animals in various parts of the country. The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying under the central government has stepped up monitoring of potential hot spots and keep it updated on the measures being taken to contain the disease. The outbreak of bird flu as of now has been confirmed in parts of Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Gujarat. There is no confirmation about its outbreak in the Union Territory of Delhi which has banned the import and consumption of poultry and has closed the biggest poultry market in Ghazipur for 10 days. Samples sent to Jalandhar laboratory for testing. A 24-hour helpline set up for citizens with queries. Rapid response teams have been formed in every Delhi district. Veterinary officers are surveying bird markets, wildlife establishments, and water bodies. At least 24 crows were found dead at a district park in south Delhi’s Jasola in the past three days and 10 ducks have died at the famous Sanjay Lake. The lake and three other recreational parks ordered to be closed temporarily. Meanwhile, Punjab has also banned the import of live birds including poultry and unprocessed poultry meat into the state till January 15. Experts have opined that avian influenza is reported mostly in birds, but has the potential to affect humans and other animals. Photo courtesy: PTI

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