Culling to begin in Malda from Friday
Malda district administration on Thursday banned the sale and transportation of poultry in two municipal areas of the district where culling would begin on Friday in the wake of an outbreak of bird flu for the second time this year.
Official sources said sale of chicken and eggs were banned at Englishbazar and Old Malda town municipal areas and adjoining Sahapur in Malda district from Thursday.
Bird flu resurfaced in the district on Wednesday following which the administration decided to cull 44,000 chickens at Englishbazar, partly in old Malda town and at Sahapur in the next three days, the sources said.
Although culling would be taken up within three-km radius of the affected areas, district magistrate Chittaranjan Das said surveillance would be maintained on a ten-km stretch.
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.
There are 16,000 birds in the profit-making state-owned farm.
Blood samples sent to the High Security Animal Diseases Laboratory at Bhopal tested positive on Wednesday confirming the H5N1 viral attack.
Malda is the second district after Murshidabad, which had been declared bird flu-hit in the fresh outbreak in the last nine days. Avian flu had been reported from two blocks in Murshidabad district.
The first bird flu attack was reported in the district's Chanchal-1 block in January last. 86,000 birds were culled in five Gram Panchayat areas of the block in January.
Altogether 40 lakh chicken had been culled in the state till February 5 after 16 of the state's 19 districts were declared bird flu hit.