BALURGHAT, Feb. 15: A suspected Bird Flu outbreak seems to have gripped Harirampur sub-division of South Dinajpur district in the wake of at least 800 birds having died at Barmahar village over the past three days. The administration is awaiting the report from the laboratory at Belghoria near Kolkata for launching the culling operation.
It may be mentioned here that Avian Flu of a dreaded magnitude had afflicted the same district last year with around 50,000 birds having to be slaughtered.
The district animal resource development department is gearing up its culling machinery in right earnest, seemingly taking for granted that another bout of the dreaded flu has taken a part of the flu-prone district in its vicious grip. According to senior department official Mr Sritanu Maiti, his department has sent the blood samples collected from the dead birds to a laboratory in Belghoria near Kolkata and was awaiting the report. “We have, however, taken all the necessary steps to launch the culling exercise, hopefully from tomorrow, pending upon the receipt of the crucial laboratory report,” he said.
However, the villagers are resenting the alleged district administration’s apathy regarding the outbreak. According to Mr Sumit Dhar, a resident of the apparently flu-afflicted village, the administration seemed to be sleeping over the repeated Avian flu outbreak in the district. “We have lost confidence in the efficacy of the administration,” he said.
Speaking on the matter, district magistrate Mr Ashoke Banerjee said that the district administration would plunge in the culling exercise once the confirmatory report came its way. “We will leave nothing to chance in the all-out fight against the dreaded bird malady,” he affirmed.