Will ensure unorganised poultry players get insurance:Minister

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Mumbai, Jan 12 (PTI) Amid the poultry sector facing bird flu threat, Maharashtra Animal Husbandry Minister Sunil Kedar on Tuesday said the government will soon take steps to ensure that unorganised players engaged in poultry farming get insurance cover.

Talking to reporters here, the minister also said that a mention will be made in this regard in the forthcoming budget of the state government.

'What I have noticed as the minister of the department is that insurance companies entertain organised players from the poultry business, but not the unorganised ones.

'The state government will soon take a step to take insurance schemes to the last common man (unorganised players doing poultry business),' Kedar said.

He said the issue had come up for discussion during a review meeting chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on the bird flu situation on Monday.

Avian influenza has been confirmed as the cause of the death of different birds in Parbhani, Mumbai, Thane, Beed and Dapoli (Ratnagiri district) in Maharashtra, as per test reports of a Bhopal-based lab, a senior state government official said on Monday.

Kedar on Monday said that around 70,000 to 80,000 birds are expected to be culled in a village near Parbhani, where hundreds of hens had died at a poultry farm.

State animal husbandry department secretary Anoop Kumar had said they would be increasing bio-safety measures in poultry farms so that there is no interface with wild birds.

Besides Maharashtra, Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi are among the states where bird flu outbreak has been confirmed. PTI ENM GK GK