Culling of birds is almost complete in avian influenza-affected West Bengal, where 32 lakh chicken have been destroyed so far, state Animal Resources Development Minister Anisur Rehman on Sunday said.
Culling work is now on at Canning in South 24 Parganas and mopping up work, which has begun in most of the affected districts, will continue, Rehman told PTI in Baharampore.
Asked about the reported infection of a man, he said Madan Bauri was suffering from fever and had tested negative. He has been kept in the isolation ward in Tamluk hospital in East Midnapore district.
Rehman said further steps to be taken up by the government would be decided at an inter-departmental meeting in Kolkata on Tuesday.
"We have also asked the Centre about steps be taken to stop further spread of avian influenza and asked for suggestions whether chicken could be consumed," he said.
Meanwhile, culling is on in Murshidabad district where 7.15 lakh chicken has been destroyed so far. There was no fresh outbreak of the dreaded H5N1 virus and mopping up work has also been launched.
A special drive for fresh culling was taken up in Dinhata I block in Coochbehar district after initial culling was completed on January 30, official sources said.
Six special teams have been deployed for the purpose as chicken kept hidden by the villagers earlier were found moving around in the open. As a result about 1,000 birds remained to be culled, the sources said.
Besides, some chicken from outside the affected areas of the district were being brought here by farmers who were surrendering them to the authorities for culling to claim compensation, they said.