KOTTAYAM: In what appears to be a temporary solace for the duck farmers, a slight decrease was reported in the rate of death of ducks since the outbreak of Avian Influenza in the district, on Thursday.
According to officials of the District Animal Husbandry department, 1,019 ducks died of the disease on the day.Officials said that the number was comparatively lower as it was the cumulative number of deaths from eight panchayats.
At the same time, 7,284 ducks, including ducklings, have been culled by the Rapid Response Team in Arppookkara panchayat so far. According to the assessment of the Animal Husbandry Department officials, around 13,000 ducks are yet to be culled in this panchayat.
“We have found five flocks with the Avian flu infection in a 1-km radius of the disease-affected area. We hope that culling can be completed in Arppookkara within a couple of days,” an official said.
Culling has got delayed in other areas as there was a lag in the confirmation order from the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), Bhopal. “Culling process involves confirmation of the disease, destroying affected flocks and distributing compensation to farmers.
So the process entails strict monitoring by the NIHSAD and the Centre. We have not received orders to starting culling operations in any other panchayat other than Arppookkara so far,” said Dr J Hariharan, District Animal Husbandry Officer.