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Since 1st March, 1999
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Birds culled, govt clueless

Falakata (Alipurduar), Feb. 1: Two thousand chickens were culled at a poultry farm here last night after 1,000 birds died there within an hour. The culling team, however, did not report the incident to the authorities.

Putul Kar, the wife of Swapan Kar, the owner of the farm at Bhoushir Danga in the Falakata block, said she saw the chickens dying around 8.30pm. Within an hour, almost 1,000 birds were dead. “I immediately contacted Sagun, the company that had supplied the livestock. After the company’s members arrived, we culled the 2,000 live chickens to finish the stock.”

The culled birds were buried at the farm. “We did not know that the block livestock department had to be informed,” Kar said.

Lili Chakraborty, the sabhapati of Falakata Panchayat Samiti, rushed to the spot along with Jyotirmoy Chanda, the block livestock officer. “When we reached, the culling was over. We collected five dead birds for testing,” Chanda said.

According to R. Alice Vez, the subdivisional officer of Alipurduar, the samples were sent to Jalpaiguri on way to Bhopal. “It will take at least five days to get a confirmatory report on avian flu.” Seven culling teams were being brought from Balurghat in South Dinajpur to tackle the situation.

Chanda said he had visited the area a week ago and asked all the farm owners to contact him if they found any symptom of bird flu. “But instead of informing me, the owner buried the culled chickens.”

In Calcutta, the animal resources development minister of Bengal, Anisur Rehman, said the law does not prohibit private parties from culling chickens.

“However, no compensation will be given in that case,” Rehman said.

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