Kolkata, Jan 16: West Bengal will begin culling of over 3.76 lakh birds from today in the two districts of Birbhum and Dakshin Dinajpur, where presence of bird flu has been confirmed.
Culling will be carried out within a five-km radius of the affected area. Farms located within a 10-km range will be disinfected. The Government of India on Tuesday confirmed the outbreak of bird flu after sample of dead birds from these two districts tested positive for the highly pathogenic virus. West Bengal had sent the samples of dead birds to the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory, Bhopal, to find out whether the death of poultry was due to avian influenza.
The laboratory found one sample, each from Birbhum and South Dinajpur districts, positive for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5 Virus. The State West Bengal has sealed the border with neighboring countries and also the affected areas so that there is no movement of animals across the borders.
The State Government has set up 60 rapid response teams for implementation of action plan in the affected areas. These teams are equipped with necessary protective equipments like masks and gloves.
The Center has asked the State Government to provide compensation to the affected farmers, whose birds are being culled, simultaneously when the culling takes place. The Center has also provided funds for the purpose.
According to initial assessment, about 35,525 poultry in 102 villages of Birbhum District's six blocks and 288 poultry in a poultry farm in South Dinajpur District have died during the last one-week.