Culling of birds continue in nine districts of Bengal

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Kolkata, Jan 24 (UNI) Culling of birds continued in full swing in nine bird flu-hit districts of West Bengal today while police were put on alert against entry of chickens in the city from the affected areas.

Animal Resources Minister Anisur Rahman said about 900,000 birds, out of the targeted 2.1 million had so far been killed in the state while the number of culling teams had been increased to 950 from 583 to accelerate the pace of operation.

''There was no fresh report of outbreak of the disease in any other place today. However, Police has been asked to keep a strict vigil and assist the civicl authorities against entry of chickens from the affected areas,'' he told reporters.

The alarm against bird flu was set ringing in Kolkata yesterday following the outbreak of the disease at Balagarh in Hooghly district, barely 40 km from the city.

At the state Secretariat, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee held a high level meeting to review the situation.

Meanwhile, Chief Secretary Amit Kiran Deb said veterinary experts from Assam in arrived the city today to supplement the efforts of the state Government while another team from Tamil Nadu was expected to reach on Friday next.

Mr Rahman said the state Government was working on a comprehensive rehabilitation package for the people who had lost chickens during the ongoing culling operation. The proposal would be submitted to the Centre for disbursal of adequate funds for their proper rehabilitation, he said.


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