Authorities investigating the deaths of more than 5,000 ducks that mysteriously perished over the course of three days in mid-September in Battambang province have ruled out avian influenza, officials in the province said Monday.
Pen Setha, chief of the veterinarian office for the province, said laboratory technicians with the Ministry of Agriculture have not confirmed exactly what killed the ducks, which were penned inside a farm in Thma Koul district.
“The results are not specific to say what kind of disease [the ducks died from] but they confirmed that it is not bird flu,” Pen Setha said.
He said that he sent carcasses and several live ducks from the devastated farm to the veterinary department at the Ministry of Agriculture in Phnom Penh for testing.
“The veterinarians are continuing to inspect the ducks and then they will give the results to the province,” Pen Setha said.
Since no specific disease has been proven to be the cause of the decimation, officials said they suspect that the penned poultry possibly died from food poisoning.
As a precaution, officials have sprayed vaccine to kill poultry-viruses at several farms in the district, said Nou Sambath, district veterinarian.
Provincial officials said that poultry farmer Morm Ngov, of Chrey Thmei village in Chrey commune, had recently transported about 1,000 ducks from an area of Prey Veng province near the Vietnam border and penned them with roughly 4,000 ducks that he had owned for a long time.
After three days, all but 100 of the farmer’s ducks had died, Kong Lim, chief of Chrey commune, said last week.