India confirms bird flu in West Bengal


New Delhi : India Tuesday confirmed that there were cases of bird flu in West Bengal after samples collected from Nadia district in the state tested positive, officials said here.

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The government also ordered culling operations in the affected area, said a statement issued from the department of animal husbandry, dairying and fisheries under the ministry of agriculture.

“Bird flu has been confirmed in poultry samples collected from two villages of Tehatta I block in Nadia District of West Bengal,” the statement said.

The samples forwarded to the Eastern Region Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (ERDDL) in Kolkata and High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL) in Bhopal tested positive for H5 strain of Avian Influenza, it said.

“It has been decided to immediately commence the culling of birds and destruction of eggs and feed material to control further spread of the disease. The virus has been contained in the affected area,” it added.

Culling has been announced within a radius of three kilometres of the infected area.

In addition, surveillance has been ordered in surrounding areas up to 10 km.

Surveillance has also been intensified throughout the state to monitor further spread of infection.

The central government has advised the state to ban movement of poultry and poultry products in the infected area and to close poultry and egg markets and shops within a radius of 10 km from the infected site.

They have suggested a ban on the movement of farm personnel, restricting access to wild and stray birds and stopping access to infected premises.

As regards compensation for loss of poultry on account of culling and destruction of birds, the central government will share costs on a 50:50 basis with the state, the statement said.

“The payment of compensation should be ensured immediately and simultaneously to culling,” it said.

The last outbreak took place during February-March in Tripura. The country was declared free from the disease on July 4.