Bird flu hits Bangalore farm, thousands of chickens, ducks culled

Thousands of infected chickens, ducks and emus have been culled at a state-run farm at Hesaraghatta, on the outskirts of Bangalore, as authorities moved to contain the deadly avian flu, official sources said today.

Reports said about 19,235 chickens, 13,673 ducks and 370 emus have been culled at the Central Poultry Development Organisation (CPDO) farm and in neighbouring Hesaraghatta since Monday to prevent the spread of H5N1 influenza.

Hesaraghatta is about 25 km north-west of Bangalore city centre.

Avian influenza was first detected in turkey and chicken reared in a farm of the CPDO in Karnataka, where the deadly pathogenic virus had claimed over 3,600 turkeys over the last fortnight. This was confirmed by tests of samples conducted at the high security animal health laboratory in Bhopal, sources said.

Tests also confirmed that a flock of 206 chicken and 17 ducks died last week due to the bird flu, which forced authorities to cull the chickens and ducks.

Authorites have ordered closure of all chicken farms in the vicinity and stopped all sale and movement of birds with immediate effect.