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Bird Flu: Punjab declares entire state ‘controlled area’, bans import of poultry till January 15

bird flubird fluThe decision comes hours after the Centre said that bird flu has been confirmed in six states so. (File photo)

Amid the bird flu or Avian Influenza scare in neighbouring states, the Punjab government on Friday declared the entire state as a ‘controlled area.’ The state government has also announced a complete ban on the import of poultry. The ban will be in place till January 15 and the state government said that the decision will be reviewed based on the evolving situation.

Additional Chief Secretary, Animal Husbandry, V K Janjua, said that these decisions have been taken to prevent the outbreak of Avian Influenza. The decision was taken after a detailed consultation with Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries, and Dairy Development Minister. Both the decision by the state government has been taken as per the Prevention and Control of Infectious and Contagious Diseases in Animals Act, 2009.

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The decision comes hours after the Centre said that bird flu has been confirmed in six states so. The Centre has asked these states – Kerala, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Himachal Pradesh – to take necessary measures to control the outbreak of the disease.

The Centre asked states unaffected by bird flu to keep tabs on any unusual deaths among birds. According to officials, a central team will visit Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, and Haryana for epidemiological investigation and monitoring of the situation.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan has directed the Jalandhar-based Northern Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (NRDDL) to start examining samples for avian influenza. So far the animal husbandry department lab has been used for COVID-19 testing. She also said that the results of any suspected bird flu test must be made available without any delay.

She also confirmed that there has not been any such case of bird death in any part of the state and all the steps are being taken as a precautionary measure.

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