WB resumes after culling of over 50,000 poultry birds

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{image-bird flu0283_10032008.jpg www.oneindia.com}Kolkata, Mar 10: Health authorities in West Bengal have resumed culling operations and hope to slaughter about 50,000 poultry birds in Murshidabad District alone where the deadly H5N1 virus resurfaced again nearly a month after it was claimed that avian flu had been contained in the State. The virus has resurfaced in two blocks of Murshidabad District, prompting the authorities to resume culling operations. Murshidabad District Magistrate, Subir Bhadra said: "Fifty thousand chickens will be killed in the three-day culling exercise". Samples collected from the Naya Mukundapur and Bodra Villages of the district have primarily tested H5N1 positive at the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL) in Bhopal, West Bengal Animal Resources Department (ARD) Minister, Anisur Rehman said.

Sixty teams began culling operations at Raghunathganj 11 and Muridabad-Jiyaganj blocks from where fresh chicken deaths were reported. The two areas witnessed the death of nearly 1,000 birds in the past ten days. Rahman had earlier said that the new cases might be due to villagers hidding ducks and chickens during the previous culling operation. According to Rahman, about four million birds have been culled since January 15. Rehman said it was impossible for the Government to make the system totally foolproof. On March 2, the UN agency Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) had warned the Government that the dreaded disease could resurface again and also asked that intensive surveillance in high-risk areas be maintained.

ANI

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