Culling in bird-flu hit town to be completed Sunday

March 22nd, 2008 - 2:15 pm ICT by admin  


Kolkata, March 22 (IANS) The slaughtering of 44,000 poultry birds in West Bengal’s bird flu-hit Malda district is expected to be completed by Sunday, an official said. “We expect to finish by Sunday the culling drive within a three km-radius from the epicentre of the fresh bird flu outbreak in English Bazaar town. We have slaughtered about 15,000 chickens in the area,” Animal Husbandry Department deputy director of Malda N.K. Shit told IANS Saturday.

He said the Malda administration had extended by one more day the culling operation due to Holi celebration in the state. Officials had earlier hoped to end culling by Saturday.

“We sent our rapid response teams in the bird-flu affected areas of Malda Friday but the progress was not much due to festivals of three religions being celebrated across the district. The culling would be hampered today (Saturday) as well due to Holi,” he said.

Bird flu was confirmed in Malda’s English Bazaar town March 19 after blood samples sent to Bhopal’s Animal Disease Laboratory tested positive.

About 200 chickens have died at the state-run poultry farm since March 13.

Bird flu was confirmed in West Bengal Jan 15.

The affected districts are South 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly, Birbhum, South Dinajpur, Murshidabad, Nadia, Burdwan, Bankura, Malda, Cooch Behar, Purulia and West Midnapore.

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