India confirms avian influenza outbreaks in several states

January 15, 2021 - The Government of India (GOI) confirmed on January 6, 2021, Avian Influenza (AI) outbreaks in the states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Kerala after a confirmation of positive samples from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research’s (ICAR) National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD).

Avian Influenza has been reported from the following States (at 12 epicenters) and species:

1)Rajasthan (crow/raven) - Baran, Kota, Jhalawar

2)Madhya Pradesh (crow) - Mandsaur, Indore, Malwa

3)Himachal Pradesh (migratory birds) - Kangra

4)Kerala (poultry-duck) - Kottayam, Allapuzha (4 epicenters)

Accordingly, advisories have been issued in respective states per the guidelines of National Action Plan of Avian Influenza.

The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying (DAHD), GOI had prepared an action plan in 2005 which was revised in 2006, 2012, 2015 and 2021 for guidance of the state governments for prevention, control, and containment of AI in India. As per the report, Kerala has already initiated control and containment operations since January 5, 2021 at the epicenters. A culling process is in operation (Source: PIB Press Release, January 6, 2021).

Additionally, media reports indicate that a bird flu alert has been issued by the Indian government in several other states, including Gujarat, Maharashtra, Punjab, and Haryana. State government authorities are reported to have imposed a ban on the sale and use of poultry meat and other related products in the regions where bird flu deaths have been detected.

In the past, India reported a series of AI outbreaks in the states of Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh in June 2020, Kerala in April 2020, Chhattisgarh and Odisha in January/February 2020 (Source: OIE). As of January 2021, India is yet to report any AI outbreaks to the World Organization for Animal Health.