Bird Flu Update: Avian influenza is under control in India

New Delhi: Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Ashwini Kumar Choubey told the Lok Sabha today that so far H5N1, H5N-8, and H5 strains have been identified. The National Institute of Animal Diseases High Security (NIHSAD), Bhopal conducts laboratory tests in respect of bird flu in meat products in the country.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has a network of 190 Primary Food Testing Laboratories under Section 43 (1) of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 and 18 referral laboratories under Section 43 (2) of the Act. Apart from these, there are 18 State Food Testing Laboratories functioning under Section 98 of the FSS Act, 2006. Most of these 165 food laboratories are capable of testing meat products. There are 2 referral laboratories ie National Research Center on Meat Hyderabad and Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, Kochi dedicated to meat and fish testing.

25 Notified Primary Food Safety Testing Laboratories and some referral laboratories ie CALF-National Milk Development Board, Gujarat, CIFT, Kochi, NRC, Meet, Hyderabad, National Food Testing Laboratory, Kolkata and a National Reference Laboratory ie Edward Food Research and Analysis Center, Kolkata has antibiotic residue screening facilities.

To date, no laboratory has confirmed human cases of avian influenza in the country.

No vaccine has been prepared or procured in India to protect people from bird flu / avian influenza. The vaccine has been widely used and adopted by the government for the zoonotic diseases rabies, Japanese encephalitis, Kaysanur forest disease.

Government of States / UTs efforts for prevention, control, and prevention of animal diseases including bird flu by providing financial assistance on the basis of action plan and need of the Department States under Assistance to States for Control of Animal Disease (ASCAD) Completes The financial assistance provided to the bird flu affected states is at Annex.

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