Thiruvananthapuram: The ban on poultry products that was imposed last month in 13 villages has been lifted, said a Kerala minister.
State Minister for Agriculture K.P. Mohanan informed the assembly here Wednesday that the ban was enforced last month after an avian flu outbreak in 13 village councils in Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta and Kottayam districts was confirmed to be due to H5N1 virus.
"Whatever ban was there on poultry products in the affected places has been lifted following the return of normalcy," said Mohanan.
It was in the middle of last month that problems cropped up in a few places in the three districts when ducks started dropping dead.
And when it started spreading in the locality, the government banned transportation of any poultry product from these village councils apart from culling over three lakh poultry birds.
The worst affected due to this were the nearly 600 houseboats that ply in the Vembanad lake that passes through Kottayam and Alappuzha districts as poultry products were banned on board these houseboats.
"This is great news for all of us as December is the peak season for us. We were all worried that we will be losing clients. With the ban lifted, things will be fine now," said a houseboat owner.
Duck meat is one major product in most Christian households during Christmas which is just a week from now. Incidentally, Alappuzha is Kerala's 'duck capital'.
With the ban lifted, ducks will now be allowed to be brought in from Tamil Nadu as well.
"Without duck meat, we were all worried as my grandchildren are all coming in from Middle East and the first question they asked me is, will they be able to eat duck meat when they come for the Christmas holidays. We are told that ducks will soon arrive from Tamil Nadu," said Thomas Mathew in Thiruvalla.