Maharashtra reports 161 more bird deaths

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Mumbai, Jan 28 (PTI) At least 161 birds, including 129 poultry birds, were found dead in Maharashtra on Wednesday, an official said on Thursday.

According to an official statement, 19 crows and 13 others birds, including herons, sparrows and parrots, were also found dead on Wednesday.

The state has recorded deaths of 19,238 birds since January 8, it was stated.

'Samples taken from dead birds are being sent to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal and Disease Investigation Section, Pune for testing,' the official said.

The test results were received from the NIHSAD on Wednesday and none of the samples taken from poultry birds tested positive for avian influenza, he said.

The government, however, did not specify the number of samples received on Wednesday.

'Samples taken from a peacock found dead in Khandala of Yavatmal district and an owl from Hangarga in Nanded district were found positive for avian influenza,' he added.

So far, 66,570 poultry birds, 13 ducks, 40,531 eggs and 56,331 kg of poultry feed have been destroyed from infected zones in the state, it was stated.

The state government has sanctioned a compensation package of Rs 1.30 crore for culling poultry and other birds, eggs and poultry feed and an operational cost of disease control within 1 km radius of the infected area under the Bird Flu Disease Control Programme, the statement said. PTI ENM ARU ARU