Maharashtra issues directives for seamless movement, marketing of poultry products

Rahul Wadke Mumbai | Updated on January 18, 2021

Maharashtra’s Animal Husbandry Commissioner has been asked by the Secretary of Animal Husbandry Department of the State to write to all the district collectors for maintaining a free movement and hassle-free selling of poultry products in the State.

Since the outbreak of bird flu on January 8 in Maharashtra, 5,987 birds including wild birds, carrion birds and even parrots and common crow have died. Of the total number of birds that died due to infection, 745 are poultry birds.

Maharashtra’s Principal Secretary of Animal Husbandry Department, Anoop Kumar, citing his earlier communication with an official of the Union Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, has asked Animal Husbandry Commissioner Sachindra Pratap Singh to ensure that there is a seamless marketing of poultry products from non-infected zones in the State.

Kumar, in the letter to the Animal Husbandry Commissioner, has said that since 2006 there have been reported outbreaks of avian flu among birds and every year the outbreaks have happened. But till date there is no report of human infection or any scientific evidence to prove that H5N1 or any other strain of Avian influenza virus getting past through cooked or processed poultry products. The country has effectively controlled the outbreaks by culling. However, banning the movement of the poultry leads to panic and drastic reduction in consumption of chicken meat and eggs.

‘Safe for consumption’

Kumar told BusinessLine that only in about eight district orders have been issued for maintaining infected zones and surveillance in view of the bird flu outbreak. Culling of poultry has been undertaken in Parbhani, Latur, Yavatmal and Pune. Efforts are being made to contain the situation. People have headed to the State Government's campaign that chicken and eggs are safe to eat provided they are safely cooked. Chicken meat consumption levels is reaching normal levels.

A press note issued by the State Animal Husbandry has said that as per the provisions of law, approximately 3,443 poultry birds within 1 km radius of the infected poultry farm at Murumba, taluka district Parbhani and approximately 11,064 poultry birds from Kendrewadi, Taluka Ahmedpur and approximately 28 poultry birds from Sukani, Taluka Udgir in Latur district have been culled.

Culling of 5,139 poultry birds at Mulshi and 418 in Daund taluka in Pune district, 600 poultry birds at Mangalvedha in Solapur district, 1,244 at Lokhandi Savargaon in Beed district and 281 poultry birds at Pen in Raigad district has also been completed, the note said.

Poultry farmer from Nashik district, Deepak Bhor, said that the impact has not been very large. Rates have fluctuated and wholesale rate of a live poultry has reached to ₹65 per kg. Before the outbreak, the rates were about ₹80.

Published on January 18, 2021

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