Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh has been put on high alert amid reports of bird flu and districts have been given strict instructions to start culling infected birds even if a single case is reported.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has issued directions to the animal husbandry department to formulate a plan of action for controlling the spread of the disease, especially as neighbouring states like Madhya Pradesh and Haryana, along with Kerala and Rajasthan, have already reported several cases and have taken up culling of birds.
Bhuvnesh Kumar, principal secretary (animal husbandry), said: "So far, the infection has not been noticed in Uttar Pradesh but we have increased vigil and asked officials to be on high alert so that we do not allow the virus to spread, as and when it is reported in the state. The directorate has already sent a letter to all chief veterinary officers to remain alert to the threat while another letter with further directions will be sent by agriculture production commissioner Alok Sinha."
Kumar said that directions have been issued to implement controlling measures as soon as even one case of bird flu is reported, which implies culling. He said that it was imperative to avoid the spread of the virus to humans, which would complicate the already sensitive Covid-19 situation.
"We will maintain strict watch over all water bodies where migratory birds are coming. The flu has been noticed in migratory birds and not poultry. However, to ensure that all bases are covered, we are taking special care to monitor poultry farms as well. The department collects samples from birds on a regular basis to check for any kind of disease but now we will intensify the checking," Kumar said.
He added that there should be no panic about consumption of poultry as the government was taking all necessary precautions. (IANS)