According to sources, the West Bengal Animal Husbandry Ministry has raised the culling target to 28 lakh after death of 4,000 chickens were reported in North 24 Parganas district. "As the target area is increasing every day it is impossible to say how many chicken will have to be killed," West Bengal Animal Resources Development Minister Anisur Rehman said.
"We have sent more than 3,500 human samples and none have tested positive," he added.
The total number of bird-flu hit districts in the state has gone up to 13 out of 19, despite the culling of birds being taken up on a war footing.
Meanwhile, 38 chickens were found dead at Takdah village, which sparked the fear of bird flu in Darjeeling district of West Bengal. Panic also gripped poultry farmers in Haryana's Bhiwani District due to mysterious death of thousands of chickens. Poultry owners were scared that the bird flu virus has hit them. In Uttar Pradesh, authorities buried over 2000 chicken following reports that the poultry were brought from bird flu-affected West Bengal.
Around 5000 chickens were brought by poultry farm owners in Shahjahanpur. Out of these 1,500 died under mysterious circumstances.
In 2006, after bird flu was detected in Maharashtra, the Centre had given a four per cent subsidy on interest on loans given to the organised sector and backed it up with subsidy on poultry feed.