Culling over in Kerang, 31,175 fowls killed

Bhubaneswar: The culling of fowls in Kerang area of Khurda district, where birdflu had been detected, ended today with at least 31,175 poultry exterminated while reports of crow deaths poured in.

"The three-day culling opearation in a three kilometer radius of Keranga is over. If more fowls are located later, culling may take place again," said Alok Das, an official in the fisheries and animal resource development (FARD) department here. The culling operation started on January 12 as per the direction of the Centre after detection of avian influenza in two birds at Keranga village.

The operation took place within a three-km radius area of Keranga and precautionary steps were taken along the 10-km radius of the epicentre, Das said. A total of 50 trained personnel comprising officials of FARD, forest and police undertook the culling operation, Das said adding people were cautioned not to open the ditches for a long time since the culled birds were buried there. Of the 31,175 fowls culled, about 28,000 birds were from a private firm, sources said.

Meanwhile, officials said more cases of crow deaths, including some from the state capital, was received at the fisheries and animal resource development department. Death of about 1263 crows was received from 12 districts, Das said. Though certain serum samples of crows were sent to the laboratory for examination, the state government was yet to receive any confirmation regarding the cause of the deaths, he said.