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Jalgaon: Culling of 70,000 birds begins
Jalgaon (Maharashtra) | March 15, 2006 19:25 IST
The culling of 70,000 birds began Wednesday after the district administration declared four blocks in a 10-km area of Jalgaon as bird flu infected.
"The government has identified the presence of bird flu in four talukas comprising of 173 villages in a periphery of 10 km. We started the culling operations of 70,000 birds of these villages Wednesday," District Collector Vijay Singhal told PTI.
He, however drew a difference between the bird flu situation in Navapur and Jalgaon.
"In Navapur, the majority of the birds infected were in a formally built poultry farm. Here, most of the birds are backyard poultry. They have to be sought from the villages and then culled," Singhal said.
For this, the collector will begin holding gram sabhas from Wednesday to persuade villagers to handover their birds to the animal husbandry authorities for culling.
The outbreak of bird flu was confirmed late Tuesday after the Bhopal-based laboratory detected four positive samples out of the 26 sent from Jalgaon.
The collector, however, refused to commit any deadline for the completion of culling operations, saying it would be over soon.
"Here the greatest advantage is the number of birds to be culled is very less in comparison to Navapur, where the figure touched 2.5 lakh birds. Once the villagers decide to cooperate with us, the work should be over soon," Singhal said.
The culling operation would be completed by Friday, Chief Secreatry D K Sankaran said.
The birds would be first culled inside the three km radius, which is the most affected region. Then the action would move to 10 km radius, part of the surveillance zone, Sankaran told reporters.
"The Bhopal lab found positive bird flu cases in the four villages of Jalgaon -- Savda, Hated, Salva and Marul. We are starting the culling operations rightaway and expect to complete the work by Friday," he said.
The medical examinations of the villagers would begin from Thursday. "We are sending health teams to all the villages in the 10 km radius, with a total population of around 10 lakh. Then we will provide necessary medical care, if required," Sankaran said.