Fears of bird flu striking Jammu and Kashmir and Haryana have emerged after death of some birds there even as the Centre said it was planning to start culling operations in West Bengal's neighbouring states to prevent the spread of deadly virus.
Culling would be undertaken in the five kilometre radius of all the affected areas of West Bengal, top officials in the Health Ministry said here today.
The five kilometre stretch in West Bengal's neighbouring states would also be brought in the ambit of the culling operation, the officials said, adding the move is preventive in nature.
The move follows a high-level meeting the Union Agriculture Ministry and Health Ministry officials had with officials of Orissa, Jharkhand, Bihar and Assam.
Meanwhile, the reports of death of two migratory birds (bar-headed geese) in Jammu and Kashmir have triggered fears of bird flu in the state.
The samples have been sent to the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL) in Bhopal for testing, Union Animal Husbandry Commissioner S K Bandhopadhyay told reporters here.
"There are a total of 10,000 bar-headed geese in Jammu, who migrate from colder climates during winters, and there could be any reason for their death," he said.
Samples have also been sent from Haryana to the HSADL following reports of poultry deaths in the state, he said.
The total mortality has reached 1,32,374 in the affected districts while the culling figures have touched 27.27 lakh as against the targeted 27.79 lakh.
"Culling is nearing completion," Bandhopadhyay said, adding crucial mopping up and disinfections operations were going on.
Asked whether the outbreak can be said to have been contained, he said the number of the mortality is coming down, which is a good sign.
On the package being given to poultry farmers, he said, it is under active consideration and opinions are being collected.