India has declared itself free from H5N1 Avian Influenza (bird flu) as there has been no occurrence of the disease in the last three months.

As is the global norm, New Delhi has notified its bird flu-free status to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE- Office International des Epizooties) headquartered in Paris.

The last outbreak of bird flu in India was reported from the poultry production unit of the College of Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry in Durg and from the government poultry farm in Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh on August 5 this year.

To control spread of the disease, the entire poultry population and its eggs, feed, litter and other infected material were stamped out within a radius of one km. Restrictions on the movement of poultry was imposed, the affected area was cleaned up and disinfected. Consequently, a post-operation surveillance plan was adopted as per international norms.

Even though India is free from bird flu, regular surveillance will be maintained, especially in vulnerable areas bordering infected countries and in areas visited by migratory birds.