AGARTALA, Jan 17 - With a fresh outbreak of bird flu being reported in Tripura, the mass culling of more than 8,000 chicken and ducks began on Saturday in the western part of the State, officials said here, reports IANS.
�We have started culling of chickens, ducks and other poultry birds today at the government-run animal farm at Gandhigram in western Tripura. We have told officials to complete the culling drive at the RK Nagar government animal farm at the earliest,� Tripura Government�s Animal Resource Development Department (ARDD) director Manoranjan Sarkar said.
He said: �After the death of some chicken, ducks and birds we have sent samples to various local and outside laboratories.
�The National Institute of High Security Animal Disease Laboratory in Bhopal has confirmed the samples from the government farm are positive for H5 strain of Avian Influenza.�
�It has been decided to immediately commence the culling of birds and destruction of eggs and feed material among other things so as to control further spread of the disease without loss of time,� said Sarkar, who is personally supervising the culling of birds.
It has also been decided that all the ducks and poultry birds would be culled within a radius of one km of the focus of infection, including the neighbouring villages.
According to the official, in addition to the culling, surveillance would be carried out over a further radius up to 10 km to monitor further spread of infection, if any.
The northeastern state of Tripura was first affected by avian influenza in April and May 2008, forcing the authorities to cull several lakh poultry birds.
The bird flu has resurfaced in the Northeastern State of Tripura, bordering Bangladesh, after three years.
PTI adds: More than 8,500 chicken and ducks were culled and 10,500 eggs destroyed in a State Government run poultry farm at Gandhigram, about 20 km from here, as bird flu resurfaced there after three years, officials said today.
The officials said there was no report of any unnatural death of fowls, poultry or ducks from any other part of the State, and there was no reason to panic and a Quick Response Team (QRT) has been formed to tackle any eventuality.