An outbreak of bird flu has reported from two poultry farms in India's Kerala, prompting authorities to order culling of ducks and hens within one km radius of the affected areas.
State Forest and Animal Husbandry Minister K Raju chaired a meeting at the state capital on Saturday to review and co-ordinate steps against bird flu, reported Hindustan Times.
The state government has drawn up an action plan, including deployment of action teams each comprising five members, the collector told reporters here. He advised the public not to panic and said necessary measures were being taken to contain the spread.
Doubts began to rise two days ago when chickens started dying in two farms in Kodiyathur and Vengaeri villages prompting authorities to send samples to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal which confirmed the presence of Avian Flu, the official said.
A high-level team from state capital has left for the affected areas. "There is nothing to panic. We are monitoring the situation. Inspections will be carried out in all animal farms," said minister K Raju.
This is the first case of bird flu in the state after the outbreak in 2016 in Alappuzha. Thousands of ducks were then culled to control the outbreak and farmers were compensated properly.
Avian flu is a variety of influenza caused by virus in birds. It can spread to humans and can trigger person to person transmission, experts say. There are many varieties of viruses and H7N9 is considered dangerous among them, they say.
All the poultry birds, including the chickens in the two poultry farms in Vengeri and Kodiyathoor, would be culled and buried in a closed environment. The total number of birds to be culled would be between 10,000 to 12,000, they added.