Culling begins in Jalpaiguri

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Jalpaiguri, Mar 29 (UNI) Culling operations began in Jalpaiguri distrct today, with the main focus being on Mondolghat, near the Bangladesh border, where the deadly H5N1 virus was detected on Thursday.

Jalpaiguri DM R Ranjit today said test samples from several dead chickens collected on March 27 were sent to the local laboratory at Belgachia, from where they were sent to Bhopal-based High Security Animal Disease Laboratory.

The report was sent directly to the Human Resources Department at New Delhi, from where they were sent to this district in West Bengal.

The DM said he has received the information and held meetings with the administration.

Jalpaiguri now entered West Bengal's map for bird fluaffected areas, with the total number of affected districts coming up to 14.

''Initially, we had decided on culling 50,000 chickens in the district. However, after the administration conducted a survey in the Mondolghat area, no chickens were found in any of the poultry farms. So we brought down the number to 31,000 for the first phase of culling in the district,'' the DM said.

Zilla Panchayat Sabhadipathi Banamali Ray said, ''We are initiating the work after consulting the panchayat and local residents.'' Local police have also been involved to facilitate smooth and fast culling operation in the district.

Chief Medical Officer(Health) had held meetings with the district's health staff and appointed two persons for each ward to keep a tab over any possible case of human ailment due to the disease.

However, no cases of humans being affected by the H5N1 virus have been reported yet.

UNI XC LL AE AS1838

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