Over 20,000 poultry culled in West Bengal

December 20th, 2008 - 6:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Dec 20 (IANS) Over 20,000 poultry have been culled since Tuesday in West Bengal’s bird flu-hit Malda district, a state minister said Saturday.”Veterinary workers have culled over 20,000 chickens and ducks till Saturday afternoon at Narhatta and Satgheria villages under English Bazar police station in Malda,” animal Resources Development (ARD) minister Anisur Rehman told IANS Saturday.

Rehman said the culling operation is likely to be over by Saturday night.

“The culling operation should have been over Friday. But due to some bureaucratic problems it had to be continued till Saturday. It is likely to be over by Saturday night. We will begin a two-day mopping up operation in the affected areas Sunday,” Rehman said.

The minister further said there has been no untoward incident during the culling operation so far.

The ARD had set a target of culling about 25,000 poultry in the affected areas of Malda, about 350 km from here.

Veterinary workers, wearing white protective suits, gloves and masks, started the culling operations Tuesday after blood samples of dead poultry sent to the High Security Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Bhopal had tested positive for avian flu.

In January, over 200,000 poultry birds were culled in several West Bengal districts. An outbreak of bird flu had been detected at Malda in March and more than 50,000 birds were culled. This is the second time the disease has hit the district.

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