Border with Bangladesh sealed;Gov sounds fresh alert

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Kolkata, Jan 15 (UNI) The West Bengal Government sounded a fresh alert throughout the state today and sealed the border with Bangladesh after avian flu broke out in two districts.

Confirming that the deadly disease hit Rampurhat in Birbhum district and Balurghat in South Dinajpur, Animal Husbandry Minister Anisur Rahman said culling would be carried out in the affected areas from tomorrow.

'' We have received a report from the Centre confirming that the mass death of chickens in those two places was caused by bird flu, '' he said.

The Central report was based on the blood sample test done in the Institute of Virology in Pune and Bhopal.

'' We have ordered culling of all the birds known to be carrier of the virus, within a radius of three km of the affected areas, '' Mr Rahman said.

The Bangladesh border had been sealed since it was being apprehended that the virus came from the neighbouring country, the Minister said.

More than 10,000 chickens have died of bird flu over the past ten days at Margram village in Birbhum district and at Balurghat.

A 300-member committee of the Animal Husbandary department had already been formed to monitor the situation.

Besides, various NGOs and self-help groups had been instructed to organise door-to-door campaigns to spread awareness among the people on precautionary measures.

UNI KDG SJC PB BST1756

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