Officials order culling in West Bengal after bird-flu outbreak
Authorities in India's eastern state of West Bengal said Wednesday an extensive culling operation was ordered to contain an outbreak of bird flu, news reports said.
Only 155 birds were killed in the first day of culling Tuesday due to poor weather conditions and the lack of adequate workers, IANS news agency quoted Dilip Chakraborty, a senior official in the state's Animal Resources Development department as saying, reported dpa.
"There are adequate number of workers since Wednesday and they are operating at full strength since morning. We hope to cull a substantial number of poultry by the end of the day," Chakraborty said.
The Animal Resources Development department confirmed the fresh outbreak of avian influenza on Monday and said it planned to cull 16,000 chickens and ducks in a 3-kilometre radius in Malda district, about 350 kilometres north of state capital Kolkata.
Culling operations are also on in neighbouring Assam state, which reported an outbreak of avian influenza earlier in December.
Several thousand birds were culled in January and again in March in West Bengal to contain outbreaks of the disease.
Avian influenza mainly affects poultry and wild birds but can infect humans who come in contact with sick fowls.
India has so far seen four major outbreaks of bird flu but not yet reported any cases of human infections.