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West Bengal to get avian flu detection laboratory; to cater to entire eastern and north-eastern regions

Raktima Bose

KOLKATA: West Bengal will soon get a Bio-Security Level III Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, which will considerably decrease the time span to examine avian flu samples and detect the disease.

“The Centre will set up the laboratory within the premises of the West Bengal University of Animal and Fishery Science in the city. We have already provided land for the purpose,” Anisur Rehman, State’s Animal Resources Development Minister, told The Hindu.

To be built on the lines of similar laboratories in Bhopal and Pune, this laboratory will be the first of its kind in this part of the country, catering to the entire eastern and north-eastern regions.

The State had suffered outbreak of avian flu in two districts — Malda and Darjeeling — in the last one month, the second time in a year.

60,000 chickens culled

About 60,000 chickens were culled by the State administration in these two districts recently.

Mr. Rehman said the laboratory, once functional, would speed up the detection of the flu and help the government to take swift action.

Regarding apprehensions of contamination from the laboratory, Dilip Chakroborty, Secretary of the State’s Animal Resource Development Department, said the “bio-security level III” norms ensured that there was no contamination from the laboratory. The State government is also coming up with a virology research laboratory at the same complex at an estimated budget of Rs. 3 crore.

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