Several states in Northeast India have sounded alerts following the outbreak of bird flu (H5N8) in the country, despite no reports of any cases in the region till now.
Officials said alerts have been sounded as a precautionary measure while most states in the region have also temporarily banned the import of poultry and poultry products from affected states across the country.
The centre on Friday said bird flu has been confirmed so far in Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Gujarat, and asked these six states to contain the disease as per the action plan. States that are still unaffected by Avian Influenza (AI) have been requested to keep a vigil on any unusual mortality among birds and to report immediately so that necessary measures are taken in the fastest possible time, according to an official statement.
Assam's Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department said the ban was imposed after the outbreak of the highly pathogenic and contagious disease, which has a potential to cause huge losses, and "in the interest of preventing escalation of the disease to Assam and other northeastern states."
In Tripura, authorities asked government and privately-owned farms to keep a close vigil to prevent any outside birds from entering the complex and to not import poultry and poultry products from disease-affected places.
In Nagaland, the government has asked residents to report any unusual illnesses or deaths of poultry birds, ducks and pet birds to the nearest veterinary health centre. The people have also been advised not to handle and consume such poultry birds and ducks which died suddenly.
After a review meeting in Shillong, the Meghalaya government also issued an advisory to rapid response teams and the forest department asking them to remain alert and report unusual deaths of birds.