(Posted on 27 November 2014) Rapid Response Teams of the Department of Animal Husbandry started culling of the dead birds in Alappuzha, Kottayam and Pathanamthitta districts. The culling process was reportedly delayed for want of Personnel Protection Eqipments(PPE) and Tami flu for the RRT members. While the RRTs use the PPE, the local people and farmers are at risk without PPE and awareness. The dead birds are taken to pyres and incinerated with the use of diesel. Reports on death of birds are pouring in from neighbouring Kollam district too. The compensation to farmers was enhanced to Rs. 200 for adult birds and Rs. 100 for ducklings. Till now the farms under the Kerala State Poultry Development Corporation are safe. The duck eggs imported from Kerala to Namakkal (Tamilnadu) were destroyed for fear of infection. Tamilnadu and Karnataka states enhanced vigil on their check posts to prevent import of poultry, ducks or eggs.The migratory birds flocking to wetlands of Alappuzha and Kottayam districts are feared to carry the disease.The most commonly spotted migratory birds are Green Sand Piper, Yellow Wag tail, Blue winged Teal, Asiatic Sparrow Hawk, and Spotted Billed pelican.
(Posted on 25 November 2014) The ‘High Security Animal Disease Laboratory, Bhopal’ has reportedly confirmed Avian Influenza virus (H5N1) in ducks died last week in Alappuzha (Kerala). More than 25000 have already died in Thakazhi, Champakkulam, Nedumudi, Mullakkal of Alappuzha district and Aimanam of Kottayam District. The Chief Minister has convened emergency meeting to assess the situation. State ministers for health and animal husbandry announced in a joint press conference that sale of duck eggs, meat and farm manure is banned in the area. Movement of ducks and poultry fro the outbreak area to other places will be blocked.
Efforts are on to contain the disease and prevent its spread. Veterinarians and para veterinarians are prepared to start mass killing of about 250000 birds in and around the outbreak area. Meanwhile, the farmers are staging protests on losing their sole livelihood and against the compensation packages(Rs.150 for ducks and Rs.75 for ducklings) offered by the Government of Kerala. Health workers are about to make house visits to educate the general public on the measures to prevent infection to human beings. Control units are already open in all the districts of the state.
Government of India teams are expected to reach the spots to evaluate the preventive measures. Department of Health Services will deploy special teams to render medical assistance to the needy. According to a quick estimate, there are around 250 duck farmers with an average flock strength of 10000 birds. Around 90% of the farmers are from Kuttanad taluk.