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Ban on poultry lifted in most areas of Bengal
February 12, 2008 19:41 IST
The West Bengal government on Tuesday lifted the ban on sale and transport of poultry and poultry products from most areas of the state.
Murshidabad districts and a municipality in Birbhum would continue to be under the ban as a precautionary measure, animal resources development minister Anisur Rahaman said after a meeting to review the ban imposed on February 5.
Rahaman said the ban was lifted with the meeting considering that there was no fresh outbreak of bird flu, no case of human infection or fresh death of birds anywhere in the state in the last few days.
Poultry farming, however, could not be taken up in any of the affected notified areas in the next three months, he said.
Earlier, the human blood samples, mostly of cullers, sent to laboratories had tested negative, he said.
Rahaman said the decision was taken after consultation with chief minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee. The Centre had earlier been informed of the latest situation in the state.
Around 1.50 lakh poultry birds had died of avian influenza in the state, Rahaman said, while 38 lakh or a little over six per cent of the total poultry in the state were culled. A total 50 blocks in 16 out of the 19 districts had been affected by avian influenza.
He said that culling and mopping up operations had been completed in the affected districts.
The police would ensure that poultry and poultry products were not transported out of worst affected Birbhum and Murshidabad districts, but enlisted poultries could move their products within the districts.
Poultry and poultry products could be imported from other states on the basis of valid papers, he said.
The meeting was also attended by state finance minister Asim Dasgupta, health minister Suryakanta Mishra, secretaries of the finance, health and ARD departments, and representatives of poultry associations.
On February 5, the health minister had announced that sale and transport of poultry and poultry products were being banned as the government could not take a risk.
It was then decided that the government would regularly check and monitor the health of 30 lakh people, who were either residents of affected areas, poultry owners or those involved in culling. It would also ensure that the ban on movement of poultry was implemented.