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Bird flu outbreak reported in two farms in Kerala


Kozhikode, Mar 07: An outbreak of bird flu has been reported from two poultry farms in Kerala's Kozhikode district prompting authorities to order culling of ducks and hens within one km radius of the affected areas.

Representational Image

District Collector Sreeram Sambasiva Rao, chaired an urgent meeting of officials of the Animal Husbandry, Health and police on Saturday to take stock of the situation in the wake of the outbreak of the Avian flu.

The state government has drawn up an action plan, including deployment of action teams each comprising five members including one from the Animal Husbandry and Health departments, the collector told reporters here.

He advised the public not to panic and said necessary measures were being taken to contain the spread.

"Swift action has been initiated to cull all chickens, ducks and other domestic birds in and around one kilometre radius of the two farms. This is only to prevent spreading of the virus to nearby areas. Though the exact numbers are not available, it could run to few a hundred including all chicken in these two poultry farms," Deputy Director of the Department of Animal Husbandry Office, Thiruvananthapuram, M K Prasad said.

Animal Husbandry Department sources said bird flu or Avian Influenza in poultry with LPAI virus may cause no disease or mild illness or may show mild signs, which may not be detected. Infection of poultry with HPAI virus can cause severe disease with high mortality.

Bird flu occurs naturally in wild waterfowl and can spread to domestic poultry, such as chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese. The disease is transmitted via contact with an infected bird's feces, or secretions from its nose, mouth or eye.

The last case of bird flu was reported in the state in 2016, sources said.

All the poultry birds, including the chickens in the two poultry farms in Vengeri and Kodiyathoor, would be culled and buried in a closed environment. The total number of birds to be culled would be between 10,000 to 12,000, they added.

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