Days after the outbreak of avian influenza - commonly known as bird flu - at Bengaluru in neighbouring Karnataka, the Maharashtra government has asked officials to undertake preventive measures against spread of the infection in the state. The state has issued instructions in this regard in the last couple of days and appointed nodal officers to oversee effective implementation of these measures for the poultry industry, which generates an annual revenue of about Rs 700 crore, an official said. "Not a single case of bird-flu has been detected so far in the state. Instructions have been given to collect the blood samples of every poultry bird transported from the neighbouring state to Maharashtra," state animal husbandry commissioner Kantilal Umap told PTI today. He said the Maharashtra government has also asked poultry managers to spray medicines for protecting birds. "It (poultry) is a business with an annual turnover around Rs 700 crore.
The total number of poultry birds in Maharashtra would be over seven lakh. It also helps in generating employment at rural level. We need to take extra care to avoid any infection to our birds," Umap said. Senior officials in the state animal husbandry department confirmed that around 7,000 samples have been collected in the last one week, out of which the results of 5,000 samples have been negative and the results of the remaining samples will be out in the next couple of days. Last week, outbreak of avian influenza was reported from Dasarahalli village in Bengaluru. The Union agriculture ministry earlier said on the Centre's directions, the Karnataka government had notified the outbreak and initiated the control and containment operations. Bird flu is a viral infection that primarily infects birds, including chicken, other poultry, and wild birds.
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