Amid the avian influenza scare, 302 birds, including 269 from poultry, were found dead in parts of Maharashtra in a single day, the authorities said on Sunday.
These birds were found dead on Saturday, an official release issued here said.
Of them, as many as 175 birds were found dead in Aurangabad, 71 in Ahmednagar, 16 in Beed and seven in Osmanabad, it said. Their samples are being sent to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal and Disease Investigation Section, Pune for testing.
The state has recorded the death of 19,827 birds till now since January 8, the release said.
The outbreak of bird flu has been reported in migratory birds in Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Kerala, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. Similarly, test results of samples from some of the areas in Maharashtra have found positive, it added.
The samples of dead poultry birds found in Mahape and Ghansoli in Thane district tested positive for avian influenza as per the test results received on Saturday, the release said.
Wherever the poultry birds and ducks tested positive for the infection, other such birds, eggs, poultry feed and droppings within the one km radius of the affected poultry farm, have been scientifically destroyed, it said.
So far, 71,883 poultry birds, 44,146 eggs and 63,339 kg poultry feed from the infected areas have been destroyed.
The Maharashtra government has sanctioned a compensation package for culling of poultry and other birds, eggs and poultry feed within one km radius of the infected area under the Bird Flu Disease Control Programme.
Compensation is being distributed to the poultry farmers in the infected zone, where the culling of poultry birds and disposal of eggs and poultry feed has been done.
In order to contain the incidence of bird flu without delay, the state government has given the powers to all the district collectors under the Prevention And Control of Infectious and Contagious Diseases in Animals Act, 2009, for the prevention, control and eradication of avian influenza, the release said.
The government urged the poultry farmers to follow strict bio-security measures. Tthe chicken shop operators have been directed to use gloves, masks covering mouth and nose, stringent hygiene practices in the shop and to maintain social physical distancing norms.
The government has also appealed to people not to stop consumption of chicken and eggs due to rumours and misconceptions.