30 of them found dead in jam-packed crates.
A van overloaded with ducks was intercepted by the Kollam unit of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) at Kadappakada junction on Tuesday.
The van was taken to the Asramam Maidan where the birds were unloaded, freeing them from the painful journey.
The Kollam East Police registered a case under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act against three persons who were travelling in the van. Technical expert of the SPCA B. Aravind, who intercepted the van, said that more than 1,600 adult ducks which should be about 50 to 60 days old were released from the van.
They were being brought from Dharmapuri in Tamil Nadu to a farm at Kallumthazham on the outskirts of the city for breeding, according to those in the van.
Though no relevant papers were produced, they said the van entered the State through the Walayar check-post.
While unloading the birds, the SPCA team noticed that 30 of them were dead and an equal number badly injured.
The ducks were packed in crates and transported. Though each crate had space to accommodate only seven ducks, about 25 ducks were stuffed into each crate.
The birds were also not provided any food or water during the journey.
On directions from District Veterinary Officer P. Vimala, blood samples of the ducks were collected and sent for tests to ascertain whether the ducks had any strains of bird flu or other avian diseases.
The dead ducks were also sent for post-mortem examination.
Dr. Aravind said that there were chances that if the van had not been intercepted, the dead ducks would have been dressed and sold for the table.
The SPCA team which intercepted the van also comprised inspector Riju Sathyaraj.