Culling operations continue West Bengal

January 6th, 2009 - 1:45 pm ICT by ANI  

Siliguri, Jan 6 (ANI): Health and veterinary workers at Siliguri in West Bengal continued culling of poultry birds after an outbreak of H5N1infection.
Officials have been culling birds since Saturday when a fresh outbreak of bird flu was reported in the region bordering Bangladesh.
The epicenter of the flu is Benoy Krishna Pally village in Darjeeling district.
A total of 26 teams have been deployed by the authorities for the culling operations in the town. Officials said that culling process had started in all the affected regions. “Right now, we have received the revised figures for culling. Target which has been fixed today is 21, 814 for the birds,” said Sarad Duvedi, Sub Divisional Officer, (SDO), Siliguri.
The latest outbreak of the virus in poultry is the fourth in West Bengal since 2007. The large scale culling and breaking of eggs by the veterinary officials is posing a major trouble for the locals relying on the poultry industry for sustenance.
With their livelihood being hit badly, they are left with nothing to rely on for survival.
“The government is not providing us with any other facility. We are left with no alternative but to close our shops. How will we eat?” said Bijoy, a poultry shop owner.
The latest outbreak of the virus in poultry is the fourth in West Bengal since 2007.
Bird flu first broke out in India in 2006 and millions of chicken and ducks had been culled to contain the virus.
Although it has resurfaced from time to time, there have been no reports of any human infections in India.
Earlier, hundreds of thousands of birds had been culled in Assam and neighboring Meghalaya after bird flu was detected in November last year.
Experts have warned that the H5N1 virus might mutate or combine with the highly contagious seasonal influenza virus and spark a pandemic that could kill millions of people across the world. (ANI)

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