Avian Flu kills more than 70 million birds in India

UK poultry farmers demand government issue housing order over rising Avian flu cases

A man disinfects a contaminated chicken for sale on a market stall at Kotiwara, north of Mumbai, India, Feb. 24, 2016. Avian flu has killed more than 70 million birds so far in the Middle East, and India is at the epicentre of the Asian flu pandemic.

The number of bird deaths due to Avian Flu (AI) in India jumped more than 50 percent in the last week. The number of suspected cases jumped more than tenfold in the same period. By last Saturday there had been 7,092 confirmed and suspected AI cases.

The reason for this sharp spike in the numbers is the discovery that the virus has now reached two of the largest bird markets in India, Kotiwara and Patparganj.

As a result, an estimated 2,600 commercial poultry farms have been shut down, and nearly 22 million poultry worth of meat is being destroyed and thrown away, according to a report on the closure of poultry farms by the AgriBusiness.com’s Livelihoods India website.

The virus is believed to have got into these markets from migratory birds trapped at sea (there is an Indian military barracks on the coast of Mumbai that has been closed for this purpose).

And it is feared that it may spread from these markets to several others in Bombay, Delhi, Ahmedabad and elsewhere in the country.

The numbers of AI cases in India have risen sharply since the start of the month. The number of deaths due to AI in India has jumped sharply.

On February 2 alone, there were nearly 22,000 confirmed cases of the virus, including over 3,000 deaths. The next day, the death toll rose to over 4,300.

Last Friday, the government declared a seven-day-long national lockdown after the number of cases reached an astonishing 48,000, according to a Reuters report. To date, there have been 17,500 positive cases and 7,500 deaths attributed

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