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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Culling man under flu watch

Feb. 1: Culling operations will come to an end in the 13 bird flu districts on Sunday, animal resource development minister Anisur Rahman said today.

He said 27,26,840 chickens had been culled till yesterday. “We have revised the target to a little over 29 lakh.”

Subhas Barui, who was part of a culling team in Rampurhat, Birbhum, was admitted to the isolation ward of the Tamluk District Hospital yesterday with symptoms of influenza. A resident of Janka village in East Midnapore’s Khejuri, he was engaged in culling between January 22 and 28. He returned home on January 30.

Barui’s blood and mucus samples have been sent to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Calcutta. “If there is a preliminary confirmation of bird flu, we will send the samples to the National Institute of Virology, Pune, or ICMR Delhi,” said health service director Sanchita Bakshi.

The government today issued a directive asking officials to ensure that culling team members were quarantined for at least seven days before returning home.

Health officials said 26 culling team members have been under observation. Eighteen of them have already tested negative for bird flu.

Private culling

In Falakata, Alipurduar, 2,000 chickens were culled at a farm last night after 1,000 birds allegedly died within an hour.

Swapan Kar, who owns the farm, said: “We immediately contacted Sagun, the company that had supplied the poultry birds. Its officials culled 2,000 chickens to finish the stock.”

The culled birds were buried at the farm. Poultry samples have been sent for tests.

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