Culling in West Bengal to be completed Sunday: minister

March 29th, 2008 - 5:11 pm ICT by admin  

Kolkata, March 29 (IANS) The culling operations to slaughter 40,000 poultry birds in West Bengal’s bird-flu affected Jalpaiguri district are expected to be completed by Sunday, Animal Resource Development (ARD) Minister Anisur Rahman said here. “We started culling in north Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district Friday. I have told my officials to complete the culling drive there by Sunday,” Rahman told IANS Saturday.

He said according to the All India Livestock Census report the culling target was set at about 40,000 chickens in Jalpaiguri.

“Though the culling target is 40,000, the actual figure could vary. We have often seen that the rearing of poultry birds has significantly fallen in the rural farms after bird flu scare,” Rahman said, adding: “The state ARD teams are going door to door to expedite the operation.”

Culling operations, which were supposed to begin Friday morning in Jalpaiguri, were delayed due to lack of trained manpower and mandatory personal protective equipment.

The fresh outbreak of bird flu was reported in Jalpaiguri March 27 after the samples of dead chickens tested positive in the High Security Animal Diseases Laboratory (HSADL), Bhopal.

Over 100 chickens died in backyard poultry farms in Boalmari under Jalpaiguri Sadar sub-division, about 700 km from Kolkata.

Sources said with the outbreak of bird flu in Jalpaiguri, the ARD department in adjoining Siliguri under Darjeeling district decided to disinfect vehicles entering from the flu-affected district.

ARD’s Matigara block wing would launch a drive at all the entry points between Jalpaiguri and Siliguri.

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