Over 22,000 poultry culled in bird flu-hit Malda

December 21st, 2008 - 5:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Dec 21 (IANS) Over 22,000 poultry birds have been culled since Tuesday in West Bengal’s bird flu-hit Malda district, a state minister said Sunday.”About 22,500 chickens and ducks have been culled till Saturday night at Narhatta and Satgheria villages under English Bazar police station in Malda district,” Animal Resources Development (ARD) Minister Anisur Rehman told IANS Sunday.

“Major part of the culling operations were over Saturday night. Whatever little is left, veterinary workers will complete by Sunday night.”

“Simultaneously we have started the mopping up operations Sunday that will continue till Monday,” Rehman said.

The ARD had set a target of culling about 25,000 poultry birds in the affected areas of Malda, about 350 km from here.

Veterinary workers, wearing white protective suits, gloves and masks, started the culling operations Tuesday after blood samples of dead poultry sent to the High Security Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Bhopal tested positive for avian flu.

In January, over 200,000 poultry birds were culled in several West Bengal districts.

This is the second time the disease has hit Malda district. An outbreak of bird flu had been detected in the district in March and more than 50,000 birds were culled.

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