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Home > India > News > PTI

Fresh chicken deaths raise fears of bird flu resurgence

March 13, 2008 16:20 IST

At least 45 chicken have died at a poultry farm in a village in Malda district, raising fears of resurgence of the deadly H5N1 virus in West Bengal.

The fresh deaths in Malda come close on the heels of bird flu in Murshidabad district.

The chicken died at Kaligram village, 68 km from Malda district headquarters, in the Chancal sub-division last Tuesday, sub divisional police officer Debasis Sarkar said on Thursday.

Sarkar said the animal resources department of the state government had collected blood samples and sent them to Belgachia in Kolkata for testing.

"'Though the deaths looked like normal deaths and not caused by bird-flu, we are waiting for the test results," he said.

Chicken deaths had been reported from Raghunathganj block in Murshidabad district on March 9, after which samples of dead chicken were sent to the High Security Animal Diseases Laboratory in Bhopal and they had tested positive.

The chicken deaths in the two places have raised fears of resurgence of the disease after the government had ended culling operations and lifted the ban on the sale of poultry.

Culling operations had been ordered from mid-January after 16 of the state's 19 districts were found to have been affected by deadly avian influenza and a ban had been imposed on the sale and consumption of chicken and poultry products for three months.

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