Rains in eight bird-flu hit districts of West Bengal hampered culling operations on Thursday.
Malda District Magistrate C R Das said that besides Katihar in adjoining Bihar, the virus might spread to North Dinazpur district since it too falls within a ten km radius of the affected Chanchol-1 block of Malda district. However, the Malda district administration is yet to begin destruction of poultry, even after 72 hours of the virus being detected in the area.
The district administration was yet to start culling operations due to lack of personnel, Das said. The virus was detected in poultry on January 21.
Unseasonal rain since Wednesday has, meanwhile, hampered culling in Bankura, Birbhum, Coochbehar, Hooghly, Nadia, South Dinazpur, Bardhaman and Murshibadbad districts.
There were also reports of resentment among poultry owners for not getting the promised compensation.
Animal Resources Development Minister Anisur Rehman said coupons were distributed among those who lost poultry. Those coupons can be encashed from respective panchayat offices.
Meanwhile, a truck carrying 1,000 chicken, being brought from West Midnapore district, was intercepted by the local people and handed over to the police on Wednesday night at Moina police station area of East Medinipur district. Over 2,000 chicken have died during the past few days in East Medinipur.
District Magistrate of West Midnapore district N S Nigam said that following poultry death, blood samples had been sent to Bhopal from Binpur, Sakrail and Chandrakona town and the report was awaited.
Coochbehar district, which was declared bird flu hit on Wednesday after Dinhata-1 block samples tested positive, will begin culling operation from Thursday. Meanwhile, blood samples were also sent from Mathabanga-1, Mekhaliganj and Tufanganj blocks for testing following the death of about 500 chickens for the past few days, District Magistrate Rajesh Kumar Sinha said.
Rezinanagar, Naoda and Nabogram blocks of Murshidabad district were also awaiting results from Bhopal, district officials said.
A report from Nadia said that a large section of tribal villagers have gathered near Raikhas area under Haringhata block to resist culling teams, claiming that their birds were healthy.