No need for panic over avian flu: Kerala Minister

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 27 (IANS) Kerala Animal Husbandry Minister K. Raju on Thursday informed the state assembly that there need be no panic over reports of the death of ducks due to avian flu (H5N1 virus) in certain areas of Alappuzha district.

“It has been confirmed that the virus that caused the death of ducks will not affect human beings and hence there need be no panic at all,” said Raju.

In the past few days, ducks have been found dead in four Alappuzha villages. Bodies of 1,500 ducks were burnt on Thursday.

“It has been decided to compensate the farmers for the loss they have suffered. They will be compensated Rs 200 for each affected duck more than two months old while Rs 100 will be given for those aged below. Rs 5 will be paid for each egg that had to be destroyed,” added Raju.

The Minister said that two years ago more than two lakh poultry birds were culled in Alappuzha, Kottayam and Pathanamthitta districts following an outbreak of avian flu.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the state government will take necessary steps to ensure that adequate testing facilities are set up in the state.

Samples were sent to a laboratory in Bhopal.

Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu government has banned import of poultry and eggs from Kerala.

–IANS

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