Bird flu: Madhya Pradesh temporarily bans poultry import from Kerala, other affected states

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Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan in the meeting on Wednesday. (Photo/ANI)
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan in the meeting on Wednesday. (Photo/ANI)

Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) [India], January 6 (ANI): In the wake of an outbreak of bird flu in Madhya Pradesh, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan on Wednesday held an emergency meeting at his residence with senior officials and decided to stop poultry business and trade of other birds with certain states of south India for limited period of time to check the disease spread.

"Bird flu not found in any poultry farm in the affected area. We will temporarily restrict the trafficking of poultry from Kerala and other affected states. We are keeping a watch on the situation," Chouhan said.

He said that necessary precautionary measures are being taken and that the districts have been made aware of guidelines issued by the Centre. "Trading of poultry will be restricted for a limited period from some states of South India," said the chief minister's official twitter handle.

It further said that this temporary prohibition has been imposed as a precautionary measure. Necessary steps have been taken as a precaution after the death of birds, mostly crows in three places Indore, Agar Malwa and Mandsaur in the state.

State medical education minister Vishvas Sarang, who participated in the meeting said "The chief minister conducted a high-level committee to review efforts on preventing and controlling bird flu in the state and has instructed officials to monitor the whole situation on district levels."

The minister said that the state government was analysing the situation thoroughly and officials have been instructed to take steps to ensure that the virus does not affect any poultry farm or edible birds. So far the report suggests no virus has been found in poultry farms or chickens.

"Reports also suggest the virus has been found in poultry in Kerala, so any kind of imports with respect to poultry will be monitored closely," the minister said.

He further said that the owners of the poultry firms have also been instructed to contact the authority immediately in any kind of concern with respect to the virus. The state government is actively taking steps to tackle the situation.

The minister also said that an awareness programme will be conducted in the state to avoid confusion among the public as about 400 crows were found dead in 10 districts. Testing of carcasses have found the prevalence of the H5N8 strain of the avian influenza.

Health Education Minister Vishwas Sarang, Chief Secretary Iqbal Singh Bains, Additional Chief Secretary Health Mohammad Suleman and other officials were present at the meeting.

Madhya Pradesh Animal Husbandry Minister Prem Singh Patel also said that an alert has been sounded to control the deaths of crows in the state after nearly 400 crows were found dead in 10 districts.

Avian influenza refers to the disease caused by infection with avian (bird) influenza (flu) Type A viruses. These viruses occur naturally among wild aquatic birds worldwide and can infect domestic poultry and other bird and animal species.

The Centre on Wednesday confirmed that cases of Avian Influenza have been reported from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Kerala.

The ministry informed this after the samples from these states were tested positive for Avian Influenza Virus by Indian Council of Agricultural Research -National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases (ICAR-NIHSAD). (ANI)