|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Bird flu alert in West Bengal district
January 14, 2008 12:36 IST
The death of thousands of homebred chickens in Birbhum region over the past week has prompted district authorities to sound a bird flu alert in two blocks.
District magistrate Tapan Kumar Shome on Monday said, "All departments concerned have been alerted. The villagers have been asked not to sell or buy chicken. They have also been asked to wear masks and cover their hands and legs while feeding birds".
Though neither the district administration nor the veterinary department confirmed an outbreak of bird flu, a preliminary report from the High Security Animal Husbandry Laboratory in Bhopal has apparently confirmed the disease affecting poultry there, official sources said.
N D Bhowmick, deputy director of state Aimal Resource Department, said, "The pattern of 60-62 per cent mortality rate is alarming in the block II of Rampurhat. The Rampurhat block I has also reported some cases".
"Samples had been collected and sent to the Bhopal laboratory. Right now, we cannot describe it as an outbreak of bird flu because the laboratory will submit its final report to the department concerned of the Central government and they will make the necessary announcement," Bhowmick said.
Villagers of Margram of Rampurhat II block had informed the village panchayat that the birds they reared were dying following a brief period of drowsiness. When the number increased rapidly in the last week, the district asdministration took up the matter seriously.
Officers of the animal resources department from New Delhi and Kolkata arrived in Suri on Saturday and started monitoring the situation and taking precautionary measures. They also held a high-level meeting on Sunday.