Hit by avian flu again, West Bengal’s Malda begins culling

December 16th, 2008 - 3:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Dec 16 (IANS) Malda district of West Bengal has been hit by bird flu again - the second time this year. Culling of poultry has begun in the area, an official said Tuesday.”We have started mopping and culling of poultry within a radius of three km from the affected district,” Malda District Magistrate Sridhar Ghosh told IANS.

About 3,5000 poultry in Malda, 350 km from here, have been affected with the H5N1 bird flu virus, he said.

“Due to fog and bad weather conditions our operation is a bit delayed. About 15,000 hens and ducks will be culled in total,” Ghosh said.

Animal Resources Development (ARD) Minister Anisur Rehman had said Monday that two blood samples of dead poultry sent to the High Security Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Bhopal had tested positive for avian flu.

The samples were from Narhatta and Satgheria villages under English Bazar police station in Malda.

The samples were sent to the laboratory after around 5,000 poultry died in Narhatta village during the past week.

Sale and consumption of poultry products has been banned in the affected area.

In January, over 200,000 birds were culled when avian flu was detected in several North Bengal and South Bengal districts. An outbreak of bird flu had been detected in Malda in March and more than 50,000 birds were culled.

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