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Authorities started operations to kill over 20,000 birds in the Vazhuthanam ward of the Haripad municipality on Thursday to stop the spread of the disease after an avian influenza epidemic was identified among ducks in Kerala's Alappuzha district.

After samples of the dead birds were sent to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal for analysis, the infection's presence was confirmed.

All birds found within a kilometre radius of the disease's epicentre will be put down starting on Saturday (October 28), according to a statement from the district government.

Up to 20,471 ducks could be put to death, and eight Rapid Response Teams (RRTs), each with ten members, are now engaged in culling operations while keeping to the relevant national standards, the statement stated.

Representatives of the public and representatives from the departments of revenue and health visited the affected region while the culling processes under district animal protection officer D S Bindhu advanced.