Kerala

Another bout of bird flu in Alappuzha

A fresh bout of bird flu has been detected in Alappuzha district. Officials of the Animal Husbandry Department (AHD) said that rapid response teams had culled 6,920 ducks belonging to a farmer at Vellamkulangara in Veeyapuram grama panchayat. The culling was carried out on Friday after samples of dead ducks, which were sent to the National Institute of High-Security Animal Disease (NIHSAD), Bhopal, for analyses, tested positive for avian influenza.

Officials said the farmer, identified as Shefeek of Thamarakulam, had brought around 10,000 ducks to Veeyapuram a few weeks ago despite a ban on movement of birds to and from the grama panchayat. The district administration had earlier issued orders banning movement and sale of duck, chicken, quail and other domestic birds and the use of their egg and meat in a number of grama panchayats following bird flu outbreaks in different places in the district.

‘Bid to get compensation’

Officials said a case had been registered against the farmer under the Disaster Management Act. “The farmer deliberately moved the ducks from Thamarakulam to Veeyapuram with the intention of getting compensation. His birds contracted the infection after reaching Veeyapuram,” said an AHD official.

A meeting chaired by District Collector A. Alexander has decided not to provide compensation to the farmer. Mr. Alexander directed the police and AHD to register a case and initiate further action against him for spreading the disease.

Detected on Dec. 8

Avian flu (H5N1) has so far been confirmed in eight grama panchayats in Alappuzha. The outbreak was first detected in ducks at Kunnumma South (ward 10) in Thakazhy grama panchayat on December 8. Later the outbreak was reported from Nedumudi and Karuvatta on December 14. It was followed by cases in Purakkad, Cheruthana, Ambalapuzha North, Pallippad, and Veeyapuram grama panchayats.

Officials said that more than one lakh birds, mostly ducks, had died or been culled in the district due to the outbreak.

It is the fourth outbreak of bird flu to strike the district in the last seven years. In 2021, avian flu caused by the H5N8 strain of the Influenza A virus was detected at Nedumudi, Thakazhy, Pallippad, Karuvatta, and Kainakary.


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Printable version | May 16, 2022 2:19:58 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/another-bout-of-bird-flu-in-alappuzha/article38308971.ece