Around 6,000 ducks were found dead in the sprawling kole fields of Arimbur panchayat in Thrissur on Saturday owing to the outbreak of duck plague aka duck viral enteritis over the last two days.
The ducks belong to Tony Eluvathinkal of Ammadam, a farmer. “I had no idea as to what was killing hundreds of ducks wading through the kole fields on Friday. But, the death toll dramatically mounted to around 6,000 on Saturday,” Tony said.
Mamman Abraham, assistant professor at the Pathology Department of Veterinary University College, who conducted the post-mortem examination on the carcass of the ducks, said that duck plague has been confirmed in poultry samples collected from the kole fields.
“The contagious anatid herpesvirus 1 caused internal bleeding and severe diarrhea. Most of the ducks died owing to the formation of the mucosae in the respiratory system and gastrointestinal system. The ducks which show symptoms will die eventually as mortality rate is 90 per cent in this disease. Nothing can be done to stop it. The dead birds should be culled quickly to prevent further contamination,” Mamman Abraham said.
“I was rearing around 11,000 ducks, which had I brought from Kuttanad a couple of months ago, by leaving them in the post-harvested paddy fields as they can eat the left-over food grains, insects, snails, earthworms, aquatic plants, grass and small amphibians there. However, on Thursday night onwards the ducks started showing symptoms of illness like loss of motor skills and coordination when they were released into the water in the kole fields.