Amid the spread of bird flu in different states across the country, the centre today asked state officials to rethink their decision to impose ban on sale of poultry and poultry products and allow the sale of products sourced from avian influenza-free areas.
In its latest status report, the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying said: "Consumption of well-cooked chicken and eggs is safe for humans. Further, consumers should not pay heed to baseless rumours that are unscientific and often lead to confusion. These adversely affect not only poultry and egg markets but also poultry and maize farmers, who are already affected by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown."
The confirmed cases of Avian Influenza have been reported in ten states so far, and culling of poultry birds is underway at all the affected epicentres in Maharashtra and Haryana, according to the ministry.
It said the cases have been confirmed in poultry at Central Poultry Development Organization in Maharashtra's Mumbai and in Mandsaur district of Madhya Pradesh till now.
The centre said Avian Influenza has also been confirmed in crows at Panna, Sanchi, Raisen, Balaghat, and in birds at Sheopur and Mandsaur districts of Madhya Pradesh; in Bastar and Dantewade districts of Chhattisgarh and in crow samples from Haridwar and Lansdowne forest range of Uttarakhand.
Samples from heron birds in Delhi's Rohini also tested positive for the infection.
Samples tested from Rajasthan and Gujarat were found negative for Avian Influenza today, the centre said.
Rapid response teams have been deployed in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
A central team formed for monitoring the situation in the affected areas are visiting the affected sites and conducting epidemiological studies, it added.
The Maharashtra Animal Husbandry Department has started a toll free helpline number for farmers to report any unusual mortality in birds.
To contain the spread of bird flu, under the Prevention And Control of Infectious and Contagious Diseases in Animals Act, 2009, the Maharashtra government has delegated requisite powers on district collectors within their local jurisdiction for prevention, control and eradication of Avian Influenza.