In a serious development, following Rajasthan, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, the states of Gujarat and Haryana have also confirmed that they have been hit by avian influenza (bird flu), reports Times of India.
The samples taken from two poultry farms in Haryana's Panchkula district and of migratory birds from Gujarat's Junagarh district have tested positive for the H5N8 virus which causes the disease. The samples were tested at Bopal-based ICAR-National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases (ICAR-NIHSAD).
Gujarat has been placed under high alert state following the confirmation. The state has issued orders for the closure of four bird sanctuaries, two of which are based in Ahmedabad, and one each in Porbandar and Jamnagar. However, State's Animal Husbandry minister Kunvarji Bavalia stated that bird flu in the state was limited to migratory birds and that so far there had been no confirmed cases in poultry birds.
Meanwhile, Haryana's Animal Husbandry and Dairying Minister Jai Prakash Daral has said that the birds within one-km radius of Kheri and Ghanauli villages in Panchkula would be culled. The flu has already killed around 4.4 lakh chickens in the two poultry farms in Barwala and Raipur Rani over a span of about a month.
It should be noted that Haryana's Barwala belt is said to be the second-largest poultry producer in Asia. It is home to about 122 poultry farms.
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