Following the massive bird flu outbreak in the neighbouring state of Kerala where over 1,700 ducks have died due to the flu, Karnataka government has put four bordering districts, including Dakshina Kannada, Mysuru, Madikeri, and Udupi, on high alert.
Karnataka animal husbandry minister Prabhu Chauhan said that although no cases of the disease have been reported in the state as of now, the government is taking all precautionary measures. “Districts that share the border with Kerala such as Dakshina Kannada, Kodagu, Mysuru and Chamarajanagar are taking all steps to ensure birds in the state are not affected,” Chauhan said.
On Tuesday (January 7), Kerala started culling of chickens and ducks in parts of its two districts, Alappuzha and Kottayam, to curb the spread of the H5N8 strain of bird flu. Looking at the seriousness of the situation, the bird flu outbreak in Kerala has been classified as a state disaster.
Apart from Karnataka, several other states including Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana, have also been put on high alert due to unusual mortality rate at several poultry farms. However, in an interview with PTI, animal husbandry and dairying secretary Atul Chaturvedi said that there is no need to panic as the disease has been found mostly in migratory birds, crows and ducks as of now.
He said: “As of now, confirmed reports are from four states — Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Kerala. As regards Haryana is concerned, there has been unusual mortality in poultry farms in Panchkula. We have asked the state government to be vigilant and send the samples for testing and confirmation. That report is awaited.”
This latest news of bird flu outbreak comes barely a few months after India on September 30, 2020, declared the country free from the disease.