Bird flu in West Bengal

March 11th, 2008 - 6:03 pm ICT by admin  

Metela (West Bengal) Mar 11 (ANI): Panic has gripped Metela, a remote village of Bhirbum District following the discovery of hundreds of dead poultry in a fresh outbreak of bird flu in the region.
According to villagers, at least 700 chickens have died in the last four days.
Sagar Bagdi, a villager said the entire village is panic stricken due to the widespread death of their poultry.
“The face of the chicken turns black and saliva comes out of their mouths and within 10 to 15 minutes we find them dead,” he added.
The villagers also said that no officials have visited the area and they have not received any instructions so far.
“The way the virus has struck us, if the necessary precautions are not taken in time the whole village will be ruined,” said Shibananda Mondal, another villager.
Health authorities in West Bengal have resumed culling operations on Monday and hope to slaughter about 50,000 poultry birds in Murshidabad District alone where the deadly H5N1 virus resurfaced again nearly a month after it was claimed that avian flu had been contained in the State.
The virus has resurfaced in two blocks of Murshidabad District, prompting the authorities to resume culling operations.
Samples collected from the Naya Mukundapur and Bodra Villages of the district have primarily tested H5N1 positive at the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL) in Bhopal, West Bengal Animal Resources Department (ARD) Minister, Anisur Rehman said.
Sixty teams began culling operations at Raghunathganj 11 and Muridabad-Jiyaganj blocks from where fresh chicken deaths were reported.
The two areas witnessed the death of nearly 1,000 birds in the past ten days.
Rahman had earlier said that the new cases might be due to villagers hiding ducks and chickens during the previous culling operation.
On March 2, the UN agency Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) had warned the Government that the dreaded disease could resurface again and also asked that intensive surveillance in high-risk areas be maintained. (ANI)

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