Culling of chickens is under way at the Central Poultry Development Organisation (CPDO) at Hesaraghatta near here, which has been hit by an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1). The government on Tuesday extended the ban on marketing and movement of poultry and poultry products to and from the surveillance zone, which lies in a 10-km radius around the CPDO, till November 15.
Following Monday’s decision to cull more than 33,000 birds (chicken, duck and emu) at the unit, 19,154 chickens were culled on Tuesday. The remaining, officials said, will be culled and disposed of over the next 8 to 10 days.
The government had announced culling of 19,235 chickens, 13,673 ducks and 392 emus besides sanitising 52 poultry sheds after 206 chickens died over the weekend. On October 25, the Union government had notified the outbreak of avian influenza at the turkey unit after about 3,600 of the birds turkeys died over the past fortnight.
“The culling process for each bird is different. While it is easier to cull chickens, it is different for emus and ducks. Besides, sheds that housed these birds have to be thoroughly sanitised. It may take about 10 days or a little more,” Arvind Jannu, Principal Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry, told The Hindu.
The culled birds, he said, were being buried within the CPDO premises with proper procedure. “Birds are buried with multi-layered chemical process to prevent any further contamination,” he added.
Six teams, involved in the surveillance work, collected 175 samples in the surveillance zone on Tuesday. No unnatural deaths of birds were noticed in the surveillance zone or in any part of the State, a department communiqué said.
Mr. Jannu said the source of the outbreak was yet to be ascertained, and currently the Government was working towards containing the spread of the flu.