New Delhi- In the wake of the bird flu outbreak, a petition has been filed in the Delhi High Court seeking direction to ensure that no birds are culled in and around Ghazipur poultry market, asserting that slaughter, without appropriate licenses and in absence of infrastructure mandated by law, makes it a hotspot for diseases.
Avian influenza has been confirmed in several states in the country, including, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, New Delhi, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Kerala, and Madhya Pradesh. In Delhi, the city government has banned the import of live birds, set up a 24-hour helpline, and closed the Ghazipur poultry market for ten days.
Animal rights activist Gauri Maulekhi, through the petition, has sought direction from the Delhi Agricultural Marketing Board to ensure that no birds are slaughtered in and around the Ghazipur Mandi. The matter will be taken by the court on Tuesday.
"That slaughtering of birds in a livestock market without appropriate licenses and in absence of the infrastructure mandated by law makes it a hot spot for the spread of diseases," the petitioner said.
"The lack of hygiene is recorded and is evident in Ghazipur Murga Mandi making it a breeding ground for the outbreak of a pandemic or susceptible to the current outbreak of avian influenza imposing severe danger to public health and safety."
Avian influenza (AI) viruses have been circulating worldwide for centuries with four known major outbreaks recorded in the last century. India notified the first outbreak of avian influenza in 2006.
In India, the disease spreads mainly by migratory birds coming into India during winter months i.e. from September-October to February-March.
Implementing management practices that incorporate biosecurity principles, personal hygiene, and cleaning and disinfection protocols, as well as cooking and processing standards, are effective means of controlling the spread of the avian influenza virus viruses. (IANS)