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Third outbreak of birdflu hits Jalgaon

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Jalgaon, Apr 6 (UNI) A day after authorities announced completion of culling operation involving slaughtering 2.40 lakh chickens in 288 villages of the district in northern Maharashtra affected by the second outbreak of bird flu, officials today said third outbreak of the deadly disease has hit the poultry livestock in another 14 villages.

State animal husbandry director Bijay Kumar confirmed that samples sent from the 14 villages had tested positive for the H5N1 virus, adding the State government has received a communication to this effect from the Union government.

Additional commissioner of the department, Mr Shaukat Ali, said they had collected 6,500 samples from all over the State and sent for analysis to the High Security Animal Disease Labortary at Bhopal. The latest test report is a part of the exercise undertaken by the department across Maharashtra,'' he said.

District Collector Vijay Singhal, who went into a huddle with officials of animal husbandary and health departments and the police here this evening to finalise arrangement for the third culling operation in the district, confirmed having received a communication from the State headquarter notifying the third outbreak of avian flu in Jalgaon district.

The second outbreak of the flu was confirmed on March 28 when samples of dead birds from Badgaon, Utar, Parora, Varad, Paldhi and Erandol had tested positive for the H5N1 virus.

Earlier, 95,000 birds were killed in 174 villages when the first outbreak was confirmed on March 14.

More than three lakh birds had to be slaughtered in Navapur in Nandurbar district, also in northern Maharashtra, when India's first outbreak of the avian flu occured on February 18.

UNI XR-SA VD KP1946

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