A day after all three municipal corporations of Delhi ordered a ban on the sale and storage of “poultry, processed or packaged chicken meat”, the Animal Husbandry Unit Thursday said that avian influenza was not detected in poultry birds in the national capital and that all 100 samples taken from the Ghazipur poultry mandi, Asia’s largest chicken market, have tested negative for bird flu.
“Test results of 104 samples arrived on Wednesday evening. Of these, 100 samples were collected from 35 poultry birds in the Ghazipur market. All samples have tested negative for bird flu. It means there is no spread of avian influenza in poultry birds in Delhi,” PTI quoted senior Animal Husbandry Unit officer Rakesh Singh as saying. The results come three days after samples taken from crows and ducks in the national capital tested positive for avian influenza.
Singh further said that the remaining four samples of Heron birds were taken from the Hastsal Park and bird flu is suspected in these four cases, and that these samples have been sent from a Jalandhar-based lab to Bhopal for confirmation.
On Wednesday, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation and South Delhi Municipal Corporation also ordered restaurants not to serve “poultry meat, poultry product and egg-based dishes”.
“All meat and poultry shops and meat processing units in areas under the NDMC/ SDMC/ EDMC are prohibited to sell, store poultry or processed or packaged chicken meat with immediate effect, till further orders,” said the orders issued by the veterinary services departments of the civic bodies. The civic bodies warned that any violation would lead to revocation of the shop’s licence.
However, both the Centre and Delhi government have said that it is safe to consume “properly cooked poultry products” and “Avian Influenza is not transmitted through cooked food”.
Over the past week, several ducks at Sanjay Lake and crows across some parks in the city have been found dead. Some of the samples tested positive for bird flu.
The Delhi government has, however, issued an advisory stating that it is safe to consume properly cooked poultry meat and eggs.