TURA, Jan 14 � Thirteen rapid response teams of the Meghalaya Government are continuing the culling of poultry in the affected zone of Williamnagar in East Garo Hills where the first bird flu outbreak has taken place and by Friday as many as 1,043 chicken have been culled within the three km radius, informed authorities.
The teams have been assigned the task of culling all poultry in the affected region and the administration has also formed a separate 15 teams headed by magistrates to go from area to area to create awareness on bird flu because some poultry owners have been expressing reluctance to kill their birds.
The first culling operation was conducted in the government poultry farm at Williamnagar where the outbreak was first reported. The culling operation in the farm took place on Thursday.
On Friday, the rapid response teams began the second stage of the operation and culled 482 birds from house to house and the market complex. There is concern over reports that some poultry owners are throwing the carcass of birds into the Simsang river in and around Williamnagar town there by polluting the river water and threatening contamination and spread of the disease.
A senior official of the Health department representing the Government of India has arrived in Williamnagar to monitor the situation.
Import of poultry and poultry products including eggs has been banned in West, South and East Garo Hills ever since the outbreak began and police and Veterinary officials are manning check points at all entry points to Garo Hills because of the suspicion that the outbreak may have taken place from infected birds that were brought in from outside the State � particularly Andhra Pradesh, Assam and Orrisa which are the main supplier of chicken and eggs to the North East, including Meghalaya.