356 more birds die in Maharashtra; samples sent for testing

Mumbai: Maharashtra has reported the death of 356 more birds, most of them poultry birds, amid the avian influenza outbreak in parts of the state, the government said on Wednesday.

The fresh deaths of birds were reported on Tuesday and their samples are being sent for testing, the government said.

According to an official statement, out of the 356 birds, 343 were poultry birds of which 229 were found dead in Nandurbar district.

Navapur in Nandurbar district was the epicentre of the 2006 avian influenza outbreak in the state.

Eleven crows and two herons also died on Tuesday, it said.

The samples are being sent to the National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) in Bhopal and the Disease Investigation Section, Pune, for testing, the government said in the statement.

Confirmed cases of the bird flu have been reported from parts of Maharashtra.

So far, 7,37,696 poultry birds(including 6,03,392 from Navapur in Nandurbar) have been culled, while 26,65,081 eggs have been destroyed from infected zones in the state, the government said.

To avoid the spread of the infection, carcasses are put in a gunny sack and buried in a ditch lined with a layer of lime.

The government has released a compensation of Rs 3.38 crore for poultry farmers in the infected zones, where the culling of poultry birds and disposal of eggs and poultry feed have been done, the statement said.

Bird flu is a highly infectious and severe respiratory disease in birds caused by the influenza virus.

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