Orissa to go for culling of birds in WB border areas

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Bhubaneswar, Feb 04 (UNI) The Orissa Government today decided to go for culling of chickens within five km radius of the districts bordering West Bengal as a preventive measure to check the spread of bird flu in the state.

The decision to undertake culling was taken here at a high level meeting, presided over by Chief Secretary Ajit Kumar Tripathy.

Briefing newspersons after the meeting, the Chief Secretary said the culling would start from February six next in the areas bordering West Bengal and Jharkhand.

Animal Husbandry Director Bishnupada Sethi said according to an estimate as many as 5.54 lakh layers and 3.32 lakh broilers would be culled in the coming days.

The culling operation would be conducted under the supervision of the Director, Central Poultry Development Organisation, Bhubaneswar, deputed by the Union Government.

The culling would be done under 133 of the Cr Pc.

But the All Orissa Broiler and Integrator Association (AOBIA) had strongly opposed the decision of the government for culling of chickens.

The Association in a memorandum to the Director, Veterinary Services and Animal Husbandry, said the culling would eliminate the genetic diversity as a large number of tribal population living in Orissa villages had been maintaining a rich genetic pool of poultry.

The Association threatened to move Orissa High Court against the government decision as it felt that the culling would ruin the poultry sector in Orissa.

Earlier, the government opposed the culling operation, stating there was no justification for it and instead the government had asked the Centre to provide five lakh doses of vaccine to contain the disease and create an immune zone in the five km radius.

Mr Sethi said the experts in WHO had also suggested for vaccination instead of culling of birds, adding so far no case of bird flu had been reported from anywhere in the state.

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