State to start second phase culling in Mayurbhanj

Bhubaneswar: Hit by bird flu, the state government has been directed by the Centre to go for culling of fowls in Mayurbhanj from tomorrow after detection of avian influenza in the tribal dominated district bordering West Bengal, official sources said today.

"We have received a direction from the Centre to start culling of birds within three kilometer radius of Bahanada village under Betanati block of Mayurbhanj district," said a nodal officer at the fisheries and animal resource development department here. Tribal-dominated Mayurbhanj became the second district after Khurda in the state where culling of fowls would be carried out after detection of H5N1 virus, they said.

While over 31,000 fowls were eliminated in and around Keranga village of Khurda district, about 5,000 chicken would be culled within three km radius of Bahanada village, the official said adding that there was no commercial poultry firm in the area.

"All the fowls in Betanati area of the district are indigenous birds spread over 30 villages," the official said adding that at least 10 rapid response teams along with the district officials were ready to start operation tomorrow.

The district administration had already put restriction on the transportation of poultry items from and within Bahanada area after one of the 41 bird samples sent from the area to the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory, Bhopal tested positive for H5N1 avian influenza on Sunday.