West Bengal poultry farms on alert over bird flu outbreak in some other states

AURANGABAD: Over 11,000 birds have been culled in Kendrewadi and Sukni villages in Latur district of Maharashtra to stop the spread of bird flu infection, a senior official said on Wednesday.

He said report on the sample of birds found dead in Vanjarwadi village, also in Latur district, is awaited.

“The administration has culled 11,064 birds in Kendrewadi and Sukni villages in the radius of one-km of the area where samples of birds had tested positive for bird flu. The culling process in these two villages is complete. We will send a report to the state government by tomorrow,” Latur collector B P Prithviraj told PTI.

At least 225 birds had died in Kendrewadi till Monday, while 12 hens died in Sukni and four in Wanjarwadi of Udgir taluka in Latur district.

Samples of dead birds from Kendrewadi and Sukni were sent for testing and their results came out positive for the avian infleunza infection, an official had said, adding that reports of samples from Wanjarwadi are awaited.

Meanwhile, a white-breasted Kingfisher was found dead in the Himayat Bagh area of Aurangabad city.

The carcass of the bird is handed over to the Animal Husbandry department, an official said, adding that the sample will be sent to Pune for testing on Thursday.

“There was no tracheal discharge seen in this bird,” Dr Vallabh Joshi of animal husbandry department hospital said.

As many as 2,359 birds have died in various parts of Maharashtra since January 8, when the first such death due to avian influenza was reported, officials have said.

Separately, as the samples of dead crows found in Mumbai have confirmed the presence of an avian influenza strain, anxious citizens have started calling the helpline of the civic body.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s disaster control helpline received 170 calls about bird deaths in the last 24 hours, a civic official said on Wednesday.

Mumbai had reported its first cases of bird flu earlier this week after samples taken from two dead crows tested positive for the infection.

Following this, the civic body on Monday appealed to citizens to contact its helpline number 1916, if they come across any bird deaths.

The disaster control helpline received 170 complaints about bird deaths from 7 am on Tuesday till 7 am on Wednesday, the official said, adding that a few of these may be repeated complaints.

The day before, the civic body had received 55 complaints in a single shift between 7 am to 3 pm.

As per the directives under “Avian influenza action plan to control and prevent revised guidelines 2021,” the dead birds have to be disposed of by burying them in a pit.