Bird flu precautions necessary! With Uttar Pradesh being one of the nine states to have confirmed the spread of bird flu, the state’ animal husbandry department has sprung in action and taken multiple precautionary actions to control the spread of the avian influenza in the state. In its latest advisory, the department has advised people in the state to refrain from visiting zoos and bird sanctuaries and to avoid any sort of contact with the birds, the Indian Express reported. The department is also keeping an eye on the migratory birds and poultry farms where the chances of the spread of the virus are high. Instructions have also been issued to district level officials that unnatural death of even a single bird should not go unnoticed and samples be collected from the spot to confirm the presence of the virus.
Two red jungle-fowls were found dead at the Kanpur Zoological Park on Saturday night and the test of samples confirmed the presence of influenza. The administration immediately sealed the zoological park for a period of 15 days. The administration has also started the process of culling of birds in the vicinity of the Kanpur Zoological Park. According to Kanpur Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) R P Mishra, the administration has started the culling process within an area of 1 kilometre from the park and has so far culled 15 jungle fowls, and three black chickens from the zoo. The administration also culled a total of 41 poultry birds outside the zoo.
Principal Secretary of the Animal Husbandry Department Bhuvnesh Kumar told the Indian Express that the administration was taking precautionary measures to control the spread of the bird flu. Kumar added that so far the spread of the influenza has been very limited in the state with only two birds testing positive to the disease. Maintaining that the administration’s primary goal is to stop the spread of the disease from birds to humans at any cost, Kumar said that the administration in some cases also compensate the owners of the commercial birds in lieu of the culling of the birds. However, challenges for the administration are also huge as it is very difficult for the administration to control the movement of the wild birds, Kumar said. Similarly, backyard poultry in villages was also one of the vulnerable spots as poultry birds come in direct contact with humans and other wild birds, he added.
Among other measures, the department of Animal Husbandry has also instructed district officials to ensure that the poultry birds and eggs are not transported in an open vehicle. The owners of poultry businesses have also been asked to shut their shops for at least one day in a week to clean and sanitise the space. With the beginning of the Magh Mela next week in Prayagraj, the administration is also taking steps to ensure that the migratory birds are not fed by the visitors.