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Rampant culling of chickens on in Assam following bird flu outbreak


September 14, 2011 - Agomani

The outbreak of Bird Flu in Assam's Dhubri district has forced officials to go on alert to spread of the infection among the people of the area.

They have begun a mass culling of chickens to neutralise the epidemic.

Farmers dependent on the poultry rearing in Agomani are still in a state of shock as they have incurred huge losses.

"We are in a very bad state, 420 chickens have been culled. We have incurred a loss of over Rs. 80,000 and received a compensation of about Rs. 13,000. We are distressed and don't know what to do," said Dilip Kumar Saha, poultry rearer.

Meanwhile, the authorities have stepped up efforts and taken various preventive measures including mass screening and diagnosis of locals in about 13 villages of the area.

Doctors were seen handing out medicines to people suffering from symptoms of Bird Flu.

Officials informed mediapersons about the detection and possible outbreak of the Bird Flu virus, since test reports confirmed the H1N5 virus on September 8.

"The report came on August 30 this year and we got the information on that day itself, so samples were collected on September 1 and it was sent to Guwahati and also to the national level laboratories and the results came on September 8; we got confirmed that there were traces of Bird Flu in the local poultry," said Mrigha Baruah, Circle Officer, Dhubri district.

Medical officers wearing protective gear were seen culling and disposing away poultry and offering monetary compensation to farmers.

According to local media, authorities are aiming to cull about 30,000 birds in the area, the process of which would take about 3-4 days.

A high alert has been sounded throughout the state to monitor and curtail the further spread of Bird Flu.

The latest reports till September 13 suggests that health and veterinary workers have so far culled more than 12,000 chickens.

Bird Flu first broke out in India in 2006.Millions of chickens and ducks have been culled since then to contain the virus, but it has resurfaced from time to time. India reported no human infections.

ANI

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