Bird flu in Darjeeling's Terai region, culling starts tomorrow

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Siliguri, May 9 (UNI) Darjeeling district administration today ordered culling of poultry in and around Sukna block, gateway of Darjeeling town, after an investigation found H5N1 avian flu strain in some dead birds.

Kurseong Sub-divisional officer Dibyendu Das told UNI today that some 300 poultry died from suspected bird flu.

He said blood samples, tested in Kolkata and Bhopal's High Security Animal Diseases Laboratory, were found positive.

Siliguri Mohokuma Parishad Sabhadipaty Mani Thapa said Poini village in Sukna block, about 18 kms north of Siliguri town, was affected by H5N1 and as an immediate measure eating and selling of chicken and its products like eggs was banned indefinitely.

The district adminsitration today banned selling of poultry and eggs within ten km radius and culling would start from tomorrow.

Darjeeling faces bird flu scare for the first time since the disease almost crippled poultry business in Bengal from mid-January.

Earlier, 14 districts of Bengal's 18, were affected by the avian flu.

Ms Thapa said around 20,000 poultry would be culled in the areas of Sukna, Matighara's upper and lower areas, Terai region of Darjeeling district.

A high-level meeting, chaired by Magistrate Rajesh Pande today chalked out culling provision in association with Animal Husbandary and local health department.

UNI XC PC MIR AS1945

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