Mopping up operation was on in two bird flu-hit areas of Malda district on Tuesday as the animal resource development authorities declared the culling drive was over after revising the target from 44,000 to 23,500.
Though initially the ARD had set the target at 44,000, it scaled down the mark by almost half yesterday claiming there was no fowl in the privately-run poultries in the wake of culling operation in January when the district was first plagued by bird flu along with some other areas of West Bengal.
The mopping operation began yesterday to locate if there was any bird left in the affected areas in Englishbazar, Old Malda town and adjoining Sahapur, and will conclude today, an ARD official said.
While 21,051 birds were culled till yesterday afternoon, within three-km radius of affected areas, the ARD was hopeful of meeting the revised target by finding out the birds left behind and exterminating the same by today, the official said.
The five-day culling operation had begun on Thursday in the district after blood samples from the two areas sent to Bhopal Laboratory had tested positive on March 19.
An avian influenza scare gripped the district following the death of about 1,100 birds in a state-owned poultry farm located within the Malda municipal area's ward no. II since March 12.
Malda is the second district after Murshidabad to be declared birdflu-hit in fresh outbreak in last nine days. Avian flu had been reported from two blocks in Murshidabad. The first birdflu attack was reported in the district's Chanchal-1 block in January.