MP bans chicken import from southern states for 10 days

Madhya Pradesh will not allow entry to chicken consignments from Kerala and other southern states for next 10 days in view of the bird flu scare in MP, state Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said on Wednesday.

Talking to reporters in Indore, Chouhan also said his government was issuing directives to ban the transportation of chicken consignments from these states to the border districts of Madhya Pradesh.

“Bird flu symptoms were found in chickens in Kerala and other southern states. Therefore, we have decided that no chicken from these states will be allowed to enter Madhya Pradesh for the next 10 days,” Chouhan said, without specifying any other state.

Earlier in the day, the chief minister reviewed the bird flu situation with officials in Bhopal, after mass death of crows was reported from some districts of the state, including Indore, Agar Malwa and Mandsaur.

Later, in Indore he said, “I have reviewed the bird flu situation in the state today. There is no cause of worry.

We are keeping a constant watch on the situation.”

“Bird flu symptoms were found in crows and in some other other avian species, but during a random inspection of poultries, the disease was not found in any chicken,” the chief minister said.

Chouhan said he has directed all district collectors in the state to talk to poultry farm owners for deciding guidelines for the prevention of bird flu.

“The poultry farms will now run as per these guidelines,” he said.

Earlier, while reviewing the bird flu situation in the state capital, Chouhan directed officials concerned to take necessary preventive measures and step-up vigil at poultries in the districts where bird deaths have been reported.

He directed officials to ensure that guidelines are followed and also asked the animal husbandry department and other allied agencies to remain alert.

“As a precautionary measure, chicken trade with a few southern states will remain banned for a limited period,” a public relations department official said.

“The ban is enforced as a precaution after reports of death of crows were received from Indore, Agar Malwa and Mandsaur,” he said.

There is no problem as such in the state, the official said, adding that precautionary measures have been taken, which include informing districts about the guidelines issued by the Centre.

On Tuesday, an official report confirmed bird flu as the cause of mass death of crows in Mandsaur and Agar Malwa districts, after Indore.

Presence of H5N8 virus (a variant of avian influenza or bird flu) was found in the carcasses of crows in Mandsaur and Agar Malwa districts, an official said, citing test results of samples sent for laboratory analysis.

A total of 155 dead crows in Indore have been found with the H5N8 virus since the pathogen was first detected in the state’s commercial hub a week back.

Since December 23, 2020, about 400 avian deaths have been reported across 10 districts of Madhya Pradesh, the PR department official said.

Apart from Indore, Agar Malwa and Mandsaur, samples of dead avians were collected from Ujjain, Sehore, Dewas, Guna, Shajapur, Khargone and Neemuch districts and sent to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) in Bhopal for testing, the official said.

Several states on Tuesday sounded an alert to contain the H5N8 strain of bird flu and sent samples for testing while Kerala began culling of chickens and ducks.

Karnataka and Tamil Nadu stepped up surveillance and formed guidelines following the outbreak of the viral infection in neighbouring Kerala, where around 1,700 ducks have died due to the flu.

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