Bird flu-hit W Bengal lifts poultry ban
Authorities in West Bengal on Tuesday largely lifted a ban on the trade, transport and consumption of poultry, imposed a week ago as part of efforts to stamp out a bird flu outbreak.
Sales were first banned in the 13 of West Bengal's 19 districts where the H5N1 virus had been detected, but the restrictions were later extended to the whole state as officials tried to ensure there would be no further outbreaks.
Anisur Rahaman, the state's animal resources minister, told reporters that officials considered the outbreak which began last month was under control.
He said restrictions on poultry farming would continue in parts of Birbhum and Murshidabad districts, which first reported the outbreak.
The World Health Organisation had said the rapid spread of bird flu throughout much of densely populated West Bengal was the most serious outbreak yet in India, which has four times detected H5N1 but which has not reported any human infections.
Rahaman said 3.8 million birds have been culled in the state since the outbreak began.
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