India hopes to soon declare itself free from bird flu, incidence of which early this year had hit the country's poultry industry hard, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said today.
Addressing a conference of state secretaries and directors of Animal Husbandary on Avian Influenza, he asked state governments to implement the central package for poultry farmers and said the government would not hesitate to increase the package if need be.
Stating that the poultry industry had suffered heavily because of the outbreak of bird flu this year, he said India would be in a position to declare the country free from this disease very soon.
Cases of Bird flu virus was detected in Maharashtra and Gujarat early this year and the authorities slaughtered hundreds of thousands of chicken to check spread of the virus.
Pawar also called upon the state governments to extend all possible help to poultry farmers to tide over their distress and implement the relief packages effectively.
He also pointed out the need for taking necessary steps for containing outbreak of any poultry disease in future, an official statement said.
The state governments should promptly bring to the notice of central government any complex disease situation, he said, and asked states to act as per the action plan provided by centre to ensure that adverse impact to poultry industry is minimised.
India remained free from Avian influenza till mid- February this year and the first outbreak was notified on February 18, it said.