Bird Flu-Hit Poultry Farm (Photo: IANS)

Bird Flu: Maldives Warns Imports of Poultry from Kerala

Days after the bird flu hit Kerala, the Maldivian government on Tuesday warned against the import of poultry from the state due to an outbreak of the H5N1 avian influenza in the region.

The Maldives health ministry, in a statement, warned against importing live birds, flesh and eggs from Kerala, Xinhua reported.

“Over 15,000 ducks have died in Kerala from the H5N1 virus,” the ministry said in the statement, “Kerala has begun an operation to cull over 200,000 birds which may be carrying the fast spreading virus.”

“Citizens are advised to thoroughly wash their hands after having touched bird eggs or containers carrying bird eggs in order to avoid contracting bird flu,” the statement added. Maldives has so far not reported any cases of avian influenza virus.

Last week, Kerala has hit with the worst bird-flu ever which led to culling of tens of thousands of ducks in districts such as Kottayam, Pathanamthitta and Aleppey. Tests were conducted after ducks in and around Alappuzha started to die in large numbers a week ago.

Meanwhile, the import of poultry from Kerala was also banned by the Tamil Nadu government, as a measure to prevent the spread of bird flu in the state. The flu which was earlier considered due to avian influenza was tested by National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases, Bhopal and confirmed due to H5N1 virus later.

While the bird flu spreads in the areas, farmers face huge loss as they had lost their hope of making profit through their business in the months ahead, especially during Christmas and New Year. About three lakhs ducks were killed regarding to the issue within three days, after the government released an order.


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