Pak orders culling after detecting H5N1 virus | india | Hindustan Times
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Pak orders culling after detecting H5N1 virus

This was done after detection of a low pathogenic strain of bird flu virus which does not affect human beings.

india Updated: Feb 27, 2006 17:39 IST

Pakistan on Monday ordered the culling of chickens and quarantined some farms in North West Frontier Province.

This was done after detection of a low pathogenic strain of bird flu virus which does not affect human beings.

The initial tests have confirmed the presence of H5 virus which does not affect human beings, Pakistan Animal Husbandry Commissioner, Dr Afzal Ahmad told reporters in Islamabad.

The tests were carried out on Sunday after several chickens were found dead in farms in Abtabad and Charsadha in the NWFP.

The virus of the H5 strain was less pathogenic than the H5N1 which could spread to human beings, Ahmad said.

Ahmad added that there was no confirmation yet about bird flu cases.

However the samples have been sent for testing to Britain and the results were expected by the weekend, he said.

As precautionary measure, owners of the two chicken farms have been advised to cull their birds.

The news of the detection of H5 virus came as some local newspapers reported that several chickens were found dead in the farms in Abtabad and Charsadha.

Ahmad said Pakistan, which banned imports of poultry from India, China, France and various other countries, have taken all precautionary measures to deal with the spread of the deadly virus if it was reported in any part of the country.

About 25 response teams have been constituted to deal with virus and the situation was being closely monitored in all the four provinces.

Ever since reports of detection of virus in Maharastra, Pakistan has banned poultry imports from India and instructed customs to prevent any poultry items being brought into the country travelling by different bus and train services to India.