3994 . Shri DATTA RAGHOBAJI MEGHE
Will the Minister of ENVIRONMENT AND FORESTS be pleased to state:-
(a) whether a large number of birds particularly Crows and Hens were found dead in various parts of the country including Gondia area of Maharashtra and Jharkhand due to unknown reasons; and
(b) if so, the details thereof and steps taken by the Government to ascertain the reasons for death of such birds in large scale to prevent the spread of diseases like bird flu etc.?
MINISTER OF STATE (INDEPENDENT CHARGE) FOR ENVIRONMENT AND FORESTS (SHRIMATI JAYANTHI NATARAJAN)
(a)&(b) Yes Sir. The Ministry had received reports of mortality of crows and poultry in some places of Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Meghalaya and Tripura. The State-wise list of places where the mortality in crows/poultry had been reported during last one year is as follows:
||District Jamshedpur (town), East and West Singhbhum, Bokaro, Dhanbad and Ranchi
||Madanmohan Pada, District Anugul, and village Keranga,
||Mehatab Bagh and Kachpura Plantation Area District Agra
||Poultry farm in village William Nagar, District East Garo Hills
||State Poultry Farm, District West Tripura
As and when such incidents are reported, the samples from the dead birds are sent to High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL), Bhopal for investigation into the cause of deaths including the presence of H5N1 (Avian Influenza) Virus.
Following steps have been taken by the Government to prevent the spread of Avian Influenza:
i. All State/Union Territory Governments have been requested to take necessary measures as per the Action Plan for ‘Preparedness, control and containment of Avian Influenza’ circulated by the Department of Animal Husbandry (Ministry of agriculture), Government of India in November 2006 and other instructions/guidelines issued in this regard from time to time.
ii. Inter-ministerial Task Force has been constituted under the Chairmanship of Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, to monitor the status of risk of Avian Influenza in the country. Functioning of the Task Force is periodically reviewed at the level of the Cabinet Secretary. Ministry of Environment and Forests is a participant in this Task Force.
iii. A Joint Monitoring Group has been constituted under the Director General of Health Services, Ministry of Health, which includes members from the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Department of Animal Husbandry, Indian Council of Medical Research, National Institute of Communicable Diseases and World Health Organization.
iv. Guidelines have been issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests to the Forest Departments of all States and Union Territories for maintaining surveillance in and around all important areas visited by resident and migratory birds in the Country. List of important bird areas in the country has also been sent to the Ministries of Health and Agriculture (Department of Animal Husbandry) for ensuring surveillance against transmission of communicable diseases from wild and migratory birds to poultry.
v. A Monitoring Cell has been set up within the Ministry of Environment and Forests comprising the Inspector General of Forests (Wildlife), Joint Director (Wildlife) and Deputy Director (Wildlife).
vi. Special training programmes are organized by the Department of Animal Husbandry for the staff of wildlife departments in collection and handling of samples from potentially infected birds.
vii. Close liaison is maintained with other organizations and experts involved in conservation of birds including migratory birds, viz., the Bombay Natural History Society, Wetlands International, and World Wide Fund for Nature – India (WWF-India).