Bird flu confirmed in Vechur; mass culling begins
Kottayam: The Department of Animal Husbandry confirmed that the mass death of ducks in Vechur here was due to bird flu. Following this, 6,305 ducks owned by Hamsa and Nasar in Vechur panchayat were culled by the Rapid Action Force headed by District Animal Husbandry Officer Dr Shaji Panikkassery.
The mass culling of birds will continue on Saturday also. The Department of Animal Husbandry informed that all poultry birds in one kilometre area around the disease hotspot will be culled. Bird flu was confirmed in Neendoor in the first week of January.
Hamsa's ducks were dying since November. He lost about 8000 ducks in total. Following this, Hamsa informed the Department of Animal Husbandry authorities. Also the ducks owned by some other people in the area were affected with bird flu. Samples of the dead birds were sent to the labs in Thiruvalla and Bhopal for testing.
On January 16, more samples of Hamsa's ducks were sent to the lab in Bhopal again after 15,000 ducks died in his farm. Bird flu was confirmed after four rounds of testing. It was already found out that the ducks of other farmers died due to Pasteurellosis bacteria.
As soon as bird flu was confirmed, District Animal Husbandry Officer Dr Shaji Panikkassery informed collector M Anjana. They held a meeting via online and started culling of birds by 11 am next day. The officials informed that they will examine samples again after 15 days.
Bird flu is spread from migratory birds. Virus of bird flu is present in water bodies and paddy fields where the ducks graze. The ducks which are affected with Pasteurellosis and cured will have lower immunity. So, they are likely to be infected of other diseases easily.