Over two mn chickens slaughtered in West Bengal
Kolkata : West Bengal has already culled its initial target of nearly 2.2 million chickens but more poultry birds from newly affected areas are awaiting to be slaughtered over the next two days.
"We have already reached our target to cull nearly 2.2 million chickens across all bird flu affected districts. But some more chickens would also be culled in two newly affected districts - South 24-Parganas and West Midnapore - within next two days," West Bengal Animal Resource Development Minister Anisur Rahman told IANS.
He said the situation was quite under control in all the 13 districts affected by avian influenza in West Bengal.
The newly affected area in South 24-Parganas is Budge Budge (Kashipore and Alampur panchayats) and in West Midnapore it is Chawkbecha village in Lowada panchayat. Budge Budge is about 15 km from Kolkata.
The eleven other avian flu affected districts are Birbhum, South Dinajpur, Murshidabad, Nadia, Burdwan, Bankura, Malda, Hooghly, Cooch Behar, Purulia and Howrah. The virus was first confirmed in Birbhum and South Dinajpur Jan 15.
"The mortality rate of poultry birds has decreased in the past few days. According to our reports, only 600 birds died of avian influenza in Murshidabad and Birbhum districts Sunday. We have culled 3,54,600 poultry birds altogether on Sunday," Rahman said.
"We have deployed adequate number of culling teams in all affected pockets and we are hopeful to complete our job very shortly," he added.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has described the bird flu outbreak in West Bengal as "serious".
The H5N1 virus causes a type of influenza in birds that is highly contagious. It does not usually infect people unless they come in close contact with infected birds or contaminated surfaces.