Monday, February 16, 2009

Bangladesh culls 10,500 chickens this year following fresh bird flu outbreak

2009-02-16 21:26:18

Special Report: Worldwide fight against bird flu

DHAKA, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- Bangladesh's authorities have so far culled about 10,500 chickens this year following fresh outbreak of bird flu, a senior government official said on Monday.

Director of Bangladesh's Fisheries and Live Stock Department Muhammad Salehuddin Khan told Xinhua on Monday, "We have culled over 8,500 chickens in January after detecting avian influenza in some commercial farms and households across the country."

He said, "This month we also culled around 2,000 birds including 1,200 on Monday after detecting the disease in two commercial firms at central Manikgonj and Narayangonj districts and one household in capital Dhaka."

Fresh outbreak of bird flu was detected in Bangladesh in December last year with arrival of winter season when the authorities said that they culled nearly 10,000 chickens in 5 out of all 64 districts of the country.

Khan expected that there will not be massive outbreak of the disease this time, saying, "We're near to the end of dangerous period meaning winter season which is the high time for outbreak of the disease."

"We have taken special steps like motivating farmers to adopt preventive measures since the disease found to reemerge in December 2008 to contain its outbreak," he said.

The bird flu was first detected in Bangladesh in a poultry farm near capital city Dhaka in March 2007.

The situation deteriorated later on as the virus spread fast across the country with the H5N1 virus outbreaks reported in 47 districts of the country between December 2007 and March 2008.

About 50 percent of the country's 150,000 poultry farms were closed and more than 1.5 million chickens, ducks and pigeons were culled as of the end of March last year.

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