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Bird flu in hills

Darjeeling, May 15: The Darjeeling district administration today confirmed an outbreak of avian flu in Bijanbari-Pulbazar, about 30km from here.

“Bird flu has been confirmed in the area. Culling could start from Saturday,” district magistrate Rajesh Pandey said.

The administration had sent samples of 12 dead poultry birds and crows from the area to the Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Calcutta and the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory in Bhopal on Monday.

There are no poultry farms in the flu zone. The dead fowls were collected from people’s backyards where small number of birds are reared for domestic consumption. The culling operation is expected to be time-consuming as teams will have to travel over hilly terrain to go to each house.

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