400,000 poultry culled in bird flu hit Assam

December 16th, 2008 - 9:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Guwahati, Dec 16 (IANS) More than 400,000 poultry have been culled in Assam after an outbreak of the deadly bird flu, officials Tuesday said. “We have almost completed culling operations and now the mopping drive is on,” Assam veterinary director A. Kakati said.

At least eight Assam districts were hit by the bird flu virus two weeks ago after hundreds of chicken and ducks died suddenly.

“An estimated 50,000 more birds are being culled and we expect to complete the drive in the next couple of days,” Kakati said.

An Assam government spokesman said there were reports of bird flu spreading to new villages in eastern and western Assam.

“We are awaiting laboratory test reports although we have begun preventive culling to minimize the risk,” the official said.

Central government health teams were continuing door-to-door check ups to ensure that the virus does not spread to humans.

“So far there are no reports of the virus contracting humans,” central health ministry official Parthajyoti Gogoi said.

The Assam government has so far paid Rs.10 million as compensation to villagers for the culled poultry.

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