450 Turkeys dead, 8,000 culled due to bird flu in Kollam, India
Since the culled birds were buried inside the farm complex, the farm will have to be kept closed for at least four months after being fumigated. Farm authorities said the fumigation was being carried out using a sodium hypochlorite solution. The complex was also being sprayed with lime-based disinfectants.
The farm has been hit by bird flu at a time when it had stocked the highest number of turkeys since its inception. It also had the reputation of being the biggest turkey farm in south Asia.
The farm will remain banned for visitors for four months. The loss to the farm as per preliminary estimates is Rs.20 lakh.
On Tuesday, poultry numbering over 700 in individual houses in an area of 1 sq km around the farm was also culled. The poultry comprised chicken, ducks, and turkey. There was resistance from the owners when Animal Husbandry Department personnel, along with officials of the Health Department, arrived at the houses with police protection to carry out the culling.
The people said no incidents of bird flu had been reported outside the farm. They insisted that all their birds were healthy. The officials had a hard time convincing them about the threat in the wake of bird flu confirmation at the farm in their neighbourhood.
The poultry owners were paid a compensation of Rs.200 for each bird above two months of age and Rs.100 for each bird below two months. All the culled birds were brought to the farm and buried.
There are allegations that instead of applying the standard chloroform application procedure, the birds were culled by crude methods. Those in the culling team did not deny the allegations.
Ban on poultry sale
District Collector A. Kowsigan has issued orders banning the import and sale of all poultry products in an area of 10 sq km around the farm. It means that the sale of poultry products cannot take place in a good portion of the city. The ban will be in force for one month.