West Bengal Bird Flu situation serious : ICAR

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Shillong, Jan 25 (UNI) All Northastern states bordering Bangladesh have been alerted against entry of poultry products from across the international border following the outbreak of Avian Influenza in West Bengal.

'' The situation is a bit serious in West Bengal, because the bird flu is happening at the household backyards, making it difficult for speedy culling operation, '' Dr K M Bujarbaruah, head of the Animal Science Division of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, told UNI today.

He said when the bird flu hit Maharashtra, where poultry is organised at a farm level, it was very easy to launch a sweeping culling operation and contain the infection at a short time.

'' The scenario is totally different in case of West Bengal as poultry is raised at a small, household scale, '' Dr Bujarbarauh added.

The senior ICAR official stated that lack of understanding as to how to deal with the backyard poultry management in a crisis situation had complicated the problem.

'' The culling operation is difficult in West Bengal as local people in many cases have obstructed works and even assaulted the staff, '' he asserted.

He, however, said efforts had been intensified to make the local people aware of the consequences, if the birds were not culled in time.

More than nine districts of West Bengal had been plagued by the disease even as health authorities stepped up culling and surveillance operations to contain further outbreak of the H5N1 virus.

Lakhs of poultry birds had been killed as the flu had badly hit the rural Bengal.

UNI RRK SJC RN1915

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