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Indian State Begins Fresh Bird Flu Cull

by 5m Editor
21 March 2008, at 11:40am

INDIA - Health workers in India's West Bengal state have begun culling poultry after a fresh outbreak of deadly bird flu, officials said.

Blood samples from dead chickens in a state-run farm in a northern district tested positive for H5N1 avian flu on Wednesday," West Bengal animal resource development minister Anisur Rahaman said Thursday.

Around 44,000 birds would be culled within the next few days, he told AFP.

"The situation is under control," the minister said, but added that "backyard poultry owners are playing hide-and-seek when health workers arrive on their doorsteps" in an attempt to conceal their birds.

The outbreak was detected after nearly 1,000 birds died during the past week at a state-run farm near Malda town, 360 kilometres (220 miles) north of Kolkata, West Bengal's capital.

West Bengal has nearly 90 million poultry in several thousand backyard and 10,000 organised farms, Rahaman said.

Source: AFP

5m Editor