Avian flu debuts in Pune, samples of 17 dead poultry birds in Dhayari test +ve | Pune News – Times of India

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PUNE: The city has registered its first instance of avian influenza following the death of 17 poultry birds at a caged facility in Dhayari recently.
A senior animal husbandry department official told TOI on Friday that the samples of these birds tested positive for the H5N1 strain of avian influenza.
Authorities have sealed the area where the deaths were reported and around 300 backyard poultry birds would be culled in the area within a radius of 1 km from the infected zone on Saturday. An official from the district administration said a 10km area from the infected zone has been sealed.
Shitalkumar Mukane, district deputy commissioner, animal husbandry, Pune, told TOI, “The positive cases have been found at Gosaviwasti in Dhayari. We visited the area on Thursday and convinced the owners of the affected birds about the culling and surveillance protocols. The infected zone is a residential area. There’s no commercial farm there.”
An animal husbandry official said dead birds were thrown on the road in the area on February 2. PMC sanitary inspectors picked up the dead birds and sent the samples to the disease investigation section in Pune. The samples were later sent to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases, Bhopal.
Another animal husbandry official said most avian influenza cases from Pune district have been detected in backyard poultry and birds that owners depend on for livelihood. “The birds roam in houses of the owners. Not a single avian influenza instance has been detected in human beings. Almost 40-50 positive bird cases have been detected in Maharashtra and none had a zoonotic connect,” he said.
“It is known that the virus can jump over to mammals such as pigs. But no poultry operations are integrated with piggery farms in India. So people should not panic,” the official said.
As part of control and containment of bird flu outbreak in the infected zone, demarcation of culling and surveillance areas and launch of control and containment operations by rapid response teams have been undertaken. Culling of birds, absolute ban on movement of poultry and products from the culling and surveillance zones, disposal of dead birds, instant compensation for culling, clean-up and disinfection and post-operation surveillance are some other measures that will be undertaken.
Maharashtra Poultry Farmers and Breeders Association president Vasanth Kumar C Shetty told TOI, “There has been a 20-25% drop in sale of chicken across Maharashtra. People have reduced consumption of chicken, and our stocks are piling. The main impact has been on chicken sales, while egg sales have remained more or less the same. The price of a kilo of chicken has dropped from Rs 85 to Rs 60.”



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