About 27,000 poultry culled in bird flu-hit West Bengal

January 6th, 2009 - 6:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Siliguri (West Bengal), Jan 6 (IANS) About 27,000 poultry have been culled so far in the bird flu-hit areas of West Bengal’s Darjeeling district, a state official said Tuesday. “Veterinary workers have culled 25,000 poultry till Tuesday afternoon at Matigara in Siliguri subdivision. 6,000 more birds will be culled. Two-day mopping operations will start Wednesday,” Siliguri sub-divisional officer Sharat Dwivedi told reporters.

About 2,000 poultry were culled at Pubang in Takdah of Darjeeing sub-division.

“We have culled about 2,000 poultry in the affected areas of Darjeeling. The culling and mopping operations are almost completed,” district magistrate Surendra Gupta said Tuesday afternoon.

Gupta said the the authorities have also started distributing compensation to the people.

“We are paying Rs.500 per family. In addition, Rs.60 to Rs.160 will be paid per bird depending on its age, size and breed,” Gupta said.

Following a bird flu outbreak, the district administration in Darjeeling ordered culling of about 33,000 poultry at Pubang in Takhdra of Darjeeling subdivision and Matigara in Siliguri.

Earlier, the authorities ordered the culling of nearly 60,000 poultry but this figure was brought down to approximately 33,000 after gauging the extent of the avian infection.

Alarmed at the death of 80 poultry birds at Pubang in Takhdra of Darjeeling sub-division and 67 poultry birds at Matigara in Siliguri subdivision within a week, the district administration sent the samples to the High Security Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at Bhopal. One of the samples tested positive for avian flu.

The development came 18 days after bird flu struck Malda district in the state.

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