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Monday, January 21, 2008 : 1320 Hrs

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  • Culling operations delayed, experts from Assam to assist

    Baharampur (WB) (PTI): About 100 experts from Assam will arrive here on Monday to assist in culling operations, which have been delayed even as the H5N1 virus spread to 21 blocks of six districts in West Bengal.

    State Animal Resource Development Minister Anisur Rehman said that 1.65 lakh chickens were culled till yesterday though it fell far short of the targeted figure which has been raised to seven lakh from the previous target of four lakh.

    Unable to give a deadline for meeting the target, the minister told PTI that "several factors were delaying culling operations."

    "Lack of awareness among the villagers, resistance from the poultry owners, dearth of veterinary staff capable of carrying out culling operations are slowing down the operations," he said.

    Five hundred culling teams have been deployed in the affected districts, the minister said.

    The experts from Assam will be deployed in Burdwan district, he added.

    The state government was mapping the extent of spread of the virus to have a better idea of the exact affected areas, he said.

    All possible efforts were being undertaken to contain the spread of the virus and check its transmission to human beings, he said.

    Bird flu spread to Bankura, the sixth district in the state and seven blocks in Murshidabad and Burdwan districts yesterday. Poultry deaths were also reported from new areas, including Darjeeling and Coochbehar.


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