Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Culling in Malda

With less than 50 per cent of the targeted 44,000 diseased chicken having been culled, authorities here have decided to continue the operation for two more days in two municipal areas of Malda district, plagued by bird flu for the second time.

Official sources said 30 animal husbandry department teams, each having six members, were involved in the operation in Englishbazar, Old Malda town municipal areas and adjoining Sahapur, which was earlier scheduled to be over on March 23.

While 15,000 fowls have so far killed in state-run firms, over 5,000 birds were culled in privately-run poultries in nearby areas since Thursday, sources said.

The culling operation slackened due to the weekend festivities, the sources conceded adding the operation will now get momentum. Meanwhile, mopping drive will take place in areas where culling has been completed, from tomorrow, sources said.

Although culling was underway within three-km radius of the affected areas, surveillance was on a ten-km stretch. Blood samples from the two areas sent to Bhopal Laboratory had tested positive on March 19. An avian influenza scare gripped the district following the death of 1,100 birds in a state-owned poultry farm located within the Malda municipal area's ward no. II since March 12.

Malda is the second district after Murshidabad to be declared bird flu-hit in fresh outbreak in last nine days. Avian flu had been reported from two blocks in Murshidabad. The first bird flu attack was reported in the district's Chanchal-1 block in January.

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