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Culling of bird begins in Kerala

Animal Husbandry Department cull ducks en masse following detection of Avian Influenza (H5N8) at four places, in Alappuzha district of Kerala on Tuesday
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Animal Husbandry Department cull ducks en masse following detection of Avian Influenza (H5N8) at four places, in Alappuzha district of Kerala on Tuesday

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Culling of chickens and ducks began on Tuesday in parts of two districts in Kerala to contain H5N8 strain of bird flu there, official sources said

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Alappuzha/Kottayam: Culling of chickens and ducks began on Tuesday in parts of two districts in Kerala to contain H5N8 strain of bird flu there, official sources said.

Rapid response teams, set up by the administration, began culling ducks, hens and other domestic birds in and around a one km radius of the affected areas in Alappuzha and Kottayam districts on Tuesday morning as per the guidelines issued by the government, they said.

The operation was launched a day after results of the samples tested at the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal confirmed the outbreak of the bird flu in the two districts.

Alappuzha district authorities said culling of birds in four panchayats of Nedumudi, Thakazhy, Pallippad and Karuvatta in Kuttanad region, where the outbreak has been reported, was expected to be completed by Wednesday evening.

In Karuvatta panchayat alone, around 12,000 birds will be culled, an official said.

In the affected areas of Neendoor panchayat in Kottayam district, the rapid response teams have culled some 3,000 birds so far, authorities said.

Around 1,700 ducks had died in a farm in Neendoor due to the viral infection.

Officials have said around 40,000 domestic birds, including 34,000 in Kuttanad region alone, will be culled to check the spread of the H5N8 virus.

A total of 155 dead crows in Indore in Madhya Pradesh have been found with the H5N8 bird flu virus since the pathogen was first detected here a week back, an official said on Tuesday.

Veterinary Department Deputy Director Pramod Sharma said 155 crows were detected with the H5N8 virus (a strain of avian influenza) in the Residency area here in the last eight days.

"Samples from 120 live hens and roosters from the area and 30 migratory birds from Sirpur Lake have been sent to a laboratory in Bhopal to check for bird flu.

The reports are awaited," he informed. As neighbouring Himachal Pradesh reported cases of bird flu, Jammu and Kashmir has sounded an alert and started collecting samples to check the health of the winged guests flocking the Union territory during winters, officials said.

Tamil Nadu government on Tuesday stepped up surveillance on the inter-state borders and announced a contingency plan for the management of possible human cases

Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar directed health officers in border districts of the state to remain vigilant in the view of avian flu outbreak in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

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