Bird flu: Madhya Pradesh govt bans chicken trade with some southern states

BHOPAL: The Madhya Pradesh government has banned chicken trade with a few southern states for a limited period in view of the bird flu outbreak in parts of MP, a government official said on Wednesday.

The official, however, did not specify the states.

In the morning, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan reviewed the bird flu situation in the state and directed officials concerned to take necessary preventive measures.

Chouhan also directed the officials to step-up vigil at poultries in the districts where bird deaths have been reported.

“As a precautionary measure, chicken trade with a few southern states will remain banned for a limited period,” a public relations department official said.

“The ban is enforced as a precaution after reports of death of crows were received from Indore, Agar Malwa and Mandsaur,” he said.

“There is no problem as such in the state.

Precautionary measures have been taken, which include informing districts about the guidelines issued by the Centre,” the official said.

After Indore, bird flu has been confirmed as the cause of mass death of crows in Mandsaur and Agar Malwa districts of Madhya Pradesh.

During the review meeting in the morning, Chouhan directed officials to ensure that guidelines are followed and also asked the animal husbandry department and other allied agencies to remain alert.

State Medical Education Minister Vishwas Sarang and other senior officials were present in the meeting.

On Tuesday, an official report confirmed bird flu as the cause of mass death of crows in Mandsaur and Agar Malwa districts, after Indore.

Presence of H5N8 virus (a variant of avian influenza or bird flu) was found in the carcasses of crows in Mandsaur and Agar Malwa districts, an official said, citing test results of samples sent for laboratory analysis.

A total of 155 dead crows in Indore have been found with the H5N8 virus since the pathogen was first detected in the state’s commercial hub a week back.

Since December 23, 2020, about 400 avian deaths have been reported across 10 districts of Madhya Pradesh, the PR department official said.

Apart from Indore, Agar Malwa and Mandsaur, samples of dead avians were collected from Ujjain, Sehore, Dewas, Guna, Shajapur, Khargone and Neemuch districts and sent to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) in Bhopal for testing, the official said.

Several states on Tuesday sounded an alert to contain the H5N8 strain of bird flu and sent samples for testing while Kerala began culling of chickens and ducks.

Karnataka and Tamil Nadu stepped up surveillance and formed guidelines following the outbreak of the viral infection in neighbouring Kerala, where around 1,700 ducks have died due to the flu.