NEW DELHI: The Centre on Monday asked states not to close markets of poultry products out of panic, saying there is no risk to humans if the animal or poultry products are boiled or cooked properly before consumption.
“There is no need to get panicked about bird flu. The cases of bird flu have been frequently reported in India since 2006. There is, however, no risk at all to humans if animal products are cooked properly before eating,” said Union minister of animal husbandry & dairying, Giriraj Singh, even as his ministry confirmed positive cases of Avian Influenza from 10 states/UT including Delhi.
Referring to the Delhi government’s decision on closure of Ghazipur poultry market for 10 days, Singh said the move has created panic. Instead of closing the market, the Delhi government should take precautionary measures like other states as per advisories/guidelines issued to them, he added.
Besides closing the wholesale poultry market in the Capital, the city government has also decided to impose a restriction on the supply of processed chicken from outside Delhi.
The ministry of animal husbandry & dairying had issued guidelines/advisories in October 2019 and again written to chief secretaries of all states/UTs on January 8 in the wake of the confirmation of Avian Influenza cases in certain areas.
“It is gathered from the states as well as media that there are panic and confusion in the general public with regard to the consumption of poultry products like eggs and chicken. In this regard, awareness among poultry farmers and the general public about the disease is of foremost importance. Accordingly, I would request you to arrange to issue appropriate advisories to quell consumer reactions, affected by rumours, and increase awareness regarding safety of poultry or poultry products that are safe for consumption following boiling/cooking procedures,” said Atul Chaturvedi, secretary, animal husbandry & dairying, in his letter to all chief secretaries.
He also requested state animal husbandry departments to ensure effective communication and coordination with health authorities for close vigilance of the disease status and avoid any chances of jumping of the disease into humans.
The outbreak of Avian Influenza has, so far, been confirmed from Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra and Delhi.
Meanwhile, death of crows and migratory/wild birds in Tonk, Karauli, Bhilwara districts of Rajasthan; Valsad, Vadodara and Surat districts of Gujarat, and Kotdwar and Dehradun districts of Uttarakhand have also been confirmed. In Delhi, crows and ducks were reported dead in New Delhi and Sanjay lake areas, respectively.
Besides, an outbreak of Avian influenza has been reported among poultry in Parbhani district while AI in crows is confirmed from Mumbai, Thane, Dapoli and Beed in Maharashtra.
“In Haryana, culling of infected birds is underway for the control and containment of the spread of the disease. A central team has visited Himachal Pradesh and Panchkula, Haryana for carrying out monitoring of the epicentre sites and conducting an epidemiological investigation,” said an official.