5,500 chickens to be culled in two Hoogly panchayats

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Hooghly, Jan 24 (UNI) Altogether 17 Rapid Response teams, having ten members each, arrived at Dumurdah I and II panchayats in Balagarh today to start the culling process after the district administration confirmed the outbreak of avian flu in the area.

Additional District Magistrate (General) Soumitra Mohan said about 5,500 chicks will be culled in both the panchayats covering 26 villages.

Hooghly district Animal Resource Department chief Pradeep Ray said his department officials along with the Health department and district administration will monitor the culling of the H5N1 infected birds.

He also said that the poultry farmers, whose chickens will be culled, would be given Rs 40 as compensation for each big bird and Rs 30 for each small one.

Besides, a few swans, crows and pigeons would be culled, if possible, in view of the spread of the disease to the Balagarh lake area where thousands of migratory birds visit every winter.

Mr Mohan has also directed all the schools to temporarily stop providing chickens and eggs for mid-day meals to the students.

He has also banned the sale of chicken in the entire region.

Reports from Barasat in North 24 Parganas said the culling process will start from today though bird flu was yet to be confirmed.

District Magistrate Prabhat Mishra said a team has been sent to Chakchowberia village within five km radius of Haringhata in Nadia district.

Besides, teams would be sent to Birpara, Nimtala Math, Methopara and in some villages.

Mr Misra said about 1000 birds were culled since last seven days in five blocks.

Reports of chicken deaths were recieved from Haroa police station, Sewly Muslimpara under Titagarh police station, east Khilkapur in Barasat block-II, Salipur village.

UNI XC PP LS RN1640

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