‘About 30,000 poultry to be culled in Assam’

November 28th, 2008 - 6:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Guwahati, Nov 28 (IANS) About 30,000 chickens and ducks will be culled in Assam during the next four days as an outbreak of bird flu in poultry has been reported in the state, an official said.”The entire culling process is expected to be completed in three to four days as our teams are visiting each and every household in the area. We estimate there could be some 30,000 poultry birds in the area where culling is currently underway,” said Manoranjan Choudhury, deputy director of the Assam veterinary department.

The Indian health ministry Thursday confirmed outbreak of bird flu after laboratory tests confirmed strains of the deadly H5N1 avian influenza. Sale and purchase of poultry has been banned in the state.

Choudhury said about 30,000 chickens and ducks would be slaughtered in about 40 villages of Thakurichuba village, about 40 km west of Guwahati. The veterinary personnel involved in the culling process were being administered the antiviral drug Tamiflu as a precautionary measure.

“The process of culling has already started involving about 20 Rapid Response Teams with seven members in each group led by a veterinarian,” he said.

More than 300 birds died in the past one week in the state. Assam’s veterinary and animal husbandry department sounded an alert and is maintaining a strict surveillance on farms in the state.

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