Bird flu contained, Kerala lifts ban

Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014,21:54 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Thiruvananthapuram | Kerala government today lifted all restrictions imposed on the movement of poultry in the wake of bird flu outbreak reported in parts of Alappuzha, Kottayam and Pathanamthitta districts following the successful containment of H5NI virus in the affected areas. Avian flu has been completely brought under control and the affected areas are totally virus free.
So restrictions imposed on the transportation and consumption of poultry, including ducks, have been lifted, State Animal Husbandry Minister K P Mohanan told reporters here. He said it is now safe to consume egg and meat of chicken and ducks reared in the area. The Government was working to put in place more scientific methods of poultry farming to avoid incidence such diseases in future, the minister said.
Dealing a big blow to the farmers in particular and the economy in general, about 2.60 lakh ducks had been culled following the outbreak of avian influenza last month. The viral infection was reported mostly from waterlogged Kuttanad in Alappuzha and the adjoining areas of Kottayam and Pathanamthitta districts. Being the hub of water tourism, the outbreak of the disease also affected holiday business when the Christmas and New Year were around the corner.
The government had distributed Rs 84.20 lakh to farmers who suffered losses due to the culling of birds. The culling in the affected districts was done as per the protocol laid down by the World Health Organisation following confirmation of the virus H5N1 as the cause of the disease by the High Security Animal Laboratory in Bhopal.
Duck rearing has been a supplementary activity for farmers in Kuttanad for generations as vast stretches of water filled paddy fields provide an ideal ground for that. Also, duck meat has been a sought after delicacy in Kuttanad cuisine.

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