A bird flu outbreak has been reported in two panchayats in Kottayam district prompting the authorities to order culling of around 8,000 ducks, hens and other domestic birds within one km radius of the affected areas.
District Collector P K Jayasree chaired an emergency meeting with senior officials of the district on Tuesday to take stock of the situation in the wake of the outbreak in Arpookara and Thalayazham panchayats. The Collector instructed the local bodies and the Animal Husbandry Department to cull and destroy the birds within one km radius of the affected areas under the supervision of the Animal Husbandry Department. The officials have also been directed to take steps to disinfect the area, a District PRD release said here.
The sale and transportation of chicken, duck, other domestic birds, eggs, meat and manure have been banned within 10 km of bird flu affected areas for three days from December 13, it said. The Collector also said that if any unusual death of chicken, duck, or other domestic birds is noticed in 19 local bodies within a radius of 10 km from the epicentre of the disease, it should be reported to the nearest veterinary hospital.
Officials said migratory and sea birds are the carriers of the H5N1 strain found in the district. The samples were sent to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases Lab in Bhopal for testing after the birds died in a duck farm in Arpookara and a broiler chicken farm in Thalayazham. Bird flu was confirmed today, they said. Rapid response teams have been constituted by the Animal Husbandry Department to cull and destroy the birds in the affected panchayats.