Kerala culls hundreds of birds after bird flu outbreak

Kerala’s Kottayam has been severely affected by an outbreak of bird flu in recent days. Authorities have killed hundreds of ducks and other domestic fowl after outbreaks in chicken coops in two villages in Kottayam district last week, regional veterinarians said.

The Kottayam district authorities and the veterinary department have already started the process of killing all domestic birds, including ducks, within a kilometer radius of the infection. Likewise, the authorities have prohibited the transport and sale of birds and animals in that area.

On Sunday, farmers were seen catching ducks in shallow ponds and handing them over to health officials to take them to a designated area.

“We started killing different domestic birds in an area of ​​one kilometer (0.62 miles) radius around the infectious ponds,” Kottayam chief veterinary officer Shaji Panikar said on Monday.

The spread of the virus is a concern for governments and the poultry industry because of the devastation it can cause to flocks, the potential for trade restrictions and the risk of human transmission.

Bird flu was reported in Alappuzha district of the state in late October this year. Killing operations were carried out in Haripad municipality to check the spread of the disease. Later, the outbreak was detected in Cheruthana in early November.

In India, avian influenza or avian influenza, a zoonotic disease, is mainly spread by migratory birds entering the country during the winter months between September and March.

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