Centre declares two Tripura villages Bird Flu-affected

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Agartala, April 7 (UNI) The Ministry of Health has declared two villages - Mohanpur and Malaya along Tripura-Bangladesh border in Kamalpur division of north Tripura as bird flu-affected.

Referring to the Animal Diseases Diagnostic Laboratory (ADDL), Bhopal, report, a ministry official had confirmed the presence of H5N1 virus in the bird samples to Tripura Chief Secretary Shasi Prakash.

Subsequently the state government had issued flu alret in the Kamalpur sub-division.

State ARD director Dr Ashis Roy Barman told media here that culling team, led by Dipankar Biswas, had already reached Kamalpur from Delhi and culling operation would start from tomorrow morning.

''About 20,000 chickens and ducks will be slaughterd, while the state government has imposed restriction on movement and sale of poultry in the state,'' Dr Roy Barman said.

He said the ADDL, Bhopal, had confirmed flu strain in the bird samples, sent on April one, following unnatural deaths of thousands of birds in the area.

ARD officials held several rounds of meetings with Dhalai district administration and public representatives besides veterinary experts following the initial authentication of the H5N1 virus in the bordering areas and decided to launch culling operation from tomorrow after getting the final report from the ADDL.

'' The initial reports of both Belgachhia Regional Animal Diseases Diagnostic Centre, Kolkata, and the ADDL, have indicated that a few parameters of the tests have found the H5N1 strain in the birds but not recommended any alert yet, '' a senior official of the ARD said.

Earlier, the detection of avian influenza in chickens at the small poultry farms in Moulabibazar district of Bangladesh had prompted the Tripura government to take measures to stop the movement of poultry products between the two countries.

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