KOTTAYAM: The Animal Husbandry Department has commenced the culling of bird flu affected ducks in the Upper Kuttanad region in the western parts of the district on Tuesday. According to the officials, a total of 1,099 adult ducks have been culled and buried in Arppokkara panchayat.
Meanwhile, creating panic among the farmers, the disease is spreading to wider areas, killing a total of 7,290 ducks in Kottayam district alone. Speaking to Express, district Animal Husbandry officer Dr J Hariharan said a total 2,832 duck deaths were reported in Kottayam on Tuesday.
This is apart from the birds culled by the Rapid Action Force (RAF), which was constituted to destroy the disease-infected ducks.
“The disease has spread to two more panchayats -Thalayazham and Nattakom on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the impact of the disease has become more alarming at Vechoor, where 2,200 ducks died on Tuesday,” he said. With this, the disease has spread its wings to Arppookkara, Aymanam, Kumarakom, Vechoor, Thalayazham, and Nattakom panchayats so far.
The samples of infected ducks were collected from Vechoor, Thalayazham and Nattakom on Tuesday and sent to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) in Bhopal. At the same time, the procedural delay in conforming the presence of Avian Influenza virus has been delaying the preventive measures.
“We have to collect samples from each panchayat and have to send it as separate batches to Bhopal, which often delays the procedures. Moreover, it takes 3-4 days to get the confirmation message from NIHSAD.
In the mean time, disease is spreading to more areas,” said an official on condition of anonymity.
Officials are trying to expedite the culling operations in the areas, where avian influenza has been confirmed already.