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Culling almost complete in West Bengal
February 02, 2008 18:05 IST
Mopping up operation was in progress in most of the 13 bird flu affected districts of West Bengal on Saturday with culling almost over, as different figures were being given for poultry destroyed so far.
Animal Resources Development Minister Anisur Rahaman told PTI in Berhampore that 27 lakh birds had been culled and the remaining one lakh would be destroyed by today.
However, the Secretary of his department D Chakraborty said that over 29 lakh birds had been culled and the remaining will be completed by Sunday, as per instructions by Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.
"We have instructed the district authorities to complete the culling operations by tomorrow or day after," he said. Chakraborty said that culling operations were incomplete in areas in East Midnapore, Hooghly and some villages in Cooch Behar.
Along with the mopping up drive, steps are being taken to sanitise areas to prevent the recurrence of the disease. Rahaman said that after the culling, all measures would be taken to disinfect coops, residences of poultry owners and their neighbourhoods.
A comprehensive list was being prepared to identify people whose poultry had perished or been culled so that it would be easier to pay compensation.
Following reports of culling teams leaving without undergoing the mandatory quarantine in Murshidabad and Birbhum districts, the Union Health Ministry has directed the state government to call back the cullers for quarantine and checks.
Rahaman added that the Centre should probe the cause and source of the avian flu virus that had spread in the state. He suggested that outbreak could have been caused by the movement of cattle and people across the border at certain points.
There would be no difference between above poverty line and below poverty line families for payment of compensation, Rahaman said.
The state government would take up waiving of loans for women of self help groups, who had taken them from banks for setting up poultry business with the Centre, he said.
Meanwhile, people afflicted with cough and fever were being suspected as bird flu victims in the affected North Bengal districts, the report said. The administration said two medical teams would be sent to check those who had fallen ill and restore the confidence of villagers.