In the wake of the recent unusual mortality of poultry, crows, migratory birds reported from the states of Kerala, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh, a meeting with the states was convened by Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying GOI to understand the status of the outbreak of Avian Influenza and to suggest measures to states/UTs for control, containment and prevention of spread of the disease. So far, the disease has been confirmed only from four states (Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh). Culling operations are underway in the affected districts of Kerala. It was emphasized that besides increasing surveillance around water bodies, live bird markets, zoos, poultry farms, etc. Proper disposal of carcass and strengthening of bio-security in poultry farms may be ensured. States were requested to be prepared for any eventuality of Avian Influenza and were requested to ensure sufficient stock of PPE kits and accessories required for culling operations.
Besides ensuring collection of representative samples and timely submission to the designated laboratories (RDDLs/CDDL/ICAR-NIHSAD) State Animal Husbandry departments were requested to ensure effective communication and coordination with Health authorities for close vigilance of the disease status and avoid any chances of jumping of the disease into humans.Effective coordination with the state Forest departments was also emphasized for immediate reporting of any unusual mortalities in non-domestic birds in forest areas and around water bodies.
In addition to issuing advisories to the affected states regarding increasing and intensifying surveillance for unusual mortality of birds including wild / migratory birds, the Department has also established a central Control room to strategize, co-ordinate and facilitate state governments with regard to outbreak management, disease control and containment. Moreover, two central teams have been deployed to visit the affected states of Kerala, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh for monitoring and for epidemiological investigation.
Department along with Secretary, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) also held a meeting today with all states’ officials of Health Department, Animal Husbandry Departments and State Disaster Management Authorities to take stock of preparedness and to advise on intensive surveillance in affected areas.
Awareness among poultry farmersand general public (consumers of eggs and chicken) about the disease is of foremost importance. So States have beenasked to quell consumer reactions, affected by rumors and increase awareness regarding safety of poultry or poultry products that were safe for consumption following boiling / cooking procedures.