Culling begins in 11 Jharkhand villages

February 16th, 2008 - 9:13 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Feb 16 (IANS) Authorities have begun the culling of poultry in 11 villages of Jharkhand bordering bird flu-hit West Bengal, taking the total number of slaughtered birds to 3.9 million since the exercise began three weeks ago. Orissa, meanwhile, has still to comply with the central government’s direction to cull birds.

Animal husbandry officials here said Saturday that preventive culling in Jharkhand began Friday in the 11 villages of Jamtara district.

They said state authorities also identified 21 villages in Pakur district as “risk-prone” and “where culling would start shortly”.

The central government had directed the governments of Assam, Bihar, Orissa and Jharkhand to cull birds in the five-km areas bordering West Bengal as a measure to prevent spread of bird flu which broke out in West Bengal Jan 15.

Though, Assam and Bihar started the exercise, authorities in Jharkhand said they would first identify the trouble spots before carrying out the culling. Orissa is yet to respond to the directive.

Till Friday, about 3.9 million birds were culled in the country since avian influenza was first detected Jan 15. West Bengal, where 13 of the 19 districts were affected with the virus, has stopped culling after no new case was found positive.

However, the officials said, 252 rapid response teams have been engaged in surveillance, mopping, disinfection and sanitization operations in the state.

The poultry depopulation operation in the identified zone in Assam has already been completed. In Bihar, 40 percent of the culling has been carried out, the officials said.

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