India declares itself free from Bird Flu

India has declared itself free from Bird Flu (highly pathogenic Avian Influenza – H5N1 and H5N8) and notified it to the World Organisation for Animal Health. The move will help it resume export of poultry products to the countries which had banned trade in such items early this year.

India had reported outbreaks of Avian Influenza at various epicentres in Delhi, Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh), Rajpura (Punjab), Hissar (Haryana), Bellary (Karnataka), Allappuzha and Kottayam (Kerala), Ahmedabad (Gujarat), Daman (Daman) and Khordha and Angul in Odisha during October 2016 to February 2017.The countries which banned Indian poultry products, include United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Hong Kong.

That all the outbreaks of Avian Influenza were notified to the world body and the control and containment operations were carried out as per the action plan on preparedness, control and containment. Surveillance was carried out throughout the country and around the areas of the outbreaks since completion of the operation (including culling, disinfection and clean-up). Surveillance in the states showed no evidence of presence of Avian Influenza virus”, said the ministry while justifying its action. The World Organisation for Animal Health is recognised as a reference body by the World Trade Organization. It has 181 countries as its members. This global body keeps tab on animal health issues and advises countries on best practices to be followed during such outbreaks.

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