Bird flu outbreak in Kerala’s Kottayam, over six thousand birds culled

The Lakshadweep administration has temporarily banned transportation of frozen chicken from Kerala due to the bird flu outbreak.
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Over 6,000 birds were culled in three separate panchayats of Kerala's Kottayam district where a bird flu outbreak has been confirmed, PTI reported. A total of 6,017 birds, mostly ducks, were killed on Saturday, December 24, in the Vechur, Neendoor and Arpookara panchayats of the district, a release from the district administration said. Around 133 ducks and 156 chickens in Vechur, 2,753 ducks in Neendoor and 2,975 ducks in Arpookara were culled, the release said.

Meanwhile, the Lakshadweep administration has temporarily banned transportation of frozen chicken to the islands from the mainland due to the reported outbreak of bird flu in Kerala.

This is second instance of bird culling on such a large scale in Kerala in recent times. The Alappuzha district administration in October culled 20,0000 birds in the Haripad area in the district after an outbreak of the bird flu disease. Due to the outbreak in Haripad, farmers lost around 1,500 ducks to the disease which prompted the authorities to go for culling them.

In November this year, rapid response teams of the animal husbandry department (AHD) culled neary 6,000 ducks at the bird flu hit Cheruthana gram panchayat. Ten kinds of birds including ducks were reportedly culled within a one-kilometre radius of the virus’ hotspot.

Bird flu or avian influenza is a highly contagious zoonotic disease, caused due to infection with avian (bird) influenza viruses. Avian influenza (H5N1) or H5N8 is commonly called bird flu, although many other strains are also prevalent. The infection spreads through droppings, secretions and saliva of birds.

With PTI inputs

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