Bangladesh's health workers culled more than 58,000 fowls across the country in the past 24 hours as bird flu ravaged the country's poultry industry, officials in Dhaka said on Sunday.
The new culling was conducted in districts of Jamalpur, Rajshahi, Gazipur, Bogra, Tjhakurgaon, Feni and Chandpur.
An official at the bird flu control room told Xinhua that with the fresh culling of chickens, ducks, pigeons and pet birds, the total number of culled birds shot up to 968,731 since the avian influenza broke out in March last year.
A similar number of eggs were destroyed at 315 farms in 92 sub-districts under 45 districts, the official said.
Bangladesh Poultry Industries Association (BPIA) said the deadly virus has led to the closure of more than 50 percent of the farms and turned nearly five million people jobless.
"The losses we have faced are irreparable. Nearly five million men and women mostly in rural areas engaged in poultry business were turned jobless", Kaiser Rahman, president of BPLA said.
The BPIA demanded immediate import of vaccine to combat the virus and to protect chickens.
It also demanded granting bank loans on easy term for affected traders and owners of the feed mills, exemption of VAT and taxes on poultry fodder, equipment and other materials required for the industry, and allowing breeders and big farm owners to import kits for quick detection of the virus.
Meanwhile, prices of chickens and eggs at markets dropped drastically as panicked people stopped eating chickens and eggs.
However, microbiologists and physicians said there is no reason for the people to panic as there is no human infection case in Bangladesh.