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Kerala govt to cull 1.5 L fowls to contain bird flu

The decision was taken at a high level meeting convened by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to formulate preventive measures to contain the spread of H5 Avian Influenza virus.

The issue came to fore a few days back with the mass death of over 15,000 ducks in water-logged Kuttanad area in Alappuzha.

Tests on dead samples conducted at the High Security Animal Diseases Laboratory at Bhopal has confirmed avian influenza as the cause of mass death of ducks, following which a red alert has been sounded in Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta and Kottayam districts to restrict movement of poultry and allied products.

Briefing reporters on the action plan, Animal Husbandry Minister KP Hohanan and Health Minister VS Sivakumar said a rapid action team equipped with all the paraphernalia, including masks and preventive medicine kits, would be sent to carry out the culling.

All sorts of birds, including pets, would be burnt to death by using Kerosene. Government would provide a compensation for them at the rate of Rs 75 for each chick of below two months growth and Rs 150 for the birds of growth of above two months.

Since there are chances of human beings getting infected with the virus due to close contact, people in the area had been alerted to keep away from the places where the culling will take place.

As a precautionary measure, sale and transportation of eggs, meat and allied poultry products from around 10 km of affected areas had been banned.

A three-member team from National Centre for Disease Control will be visiting the affected areas soon to make an assessment of the situation and advise the state authorities as part of the central protocol for tackling the situation.
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