New virus: India to start culling birds

2011-09-20 14:32
New Delhi - Authorities in eastern India will start culling chickens and destroying eggs to contain a new outbreak of H5 bird flu, the government said on Tuesday, as a mutant strain of the virus is spreads elsewhere in Asia.

Surveillance was stepped up in West Bengal, a state severely hit by bird flu outbreaks in the past.

The federal government is pushing local authorities to ban the movement of poultry and its products, and restricting access to the affected area after samples tested positive for H5, a government statement said.

"It has been decided to immediately commence the culling of birds and destruction of eggs and feed material to control further spread of the disease," it said.

Last month, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) warned of a possible resurgence of bird flu and said a mutant strain of the H5N1 virus was spreading in Asia and beyond.

It was not immediately clear if the latest outbreak in India was related to the new Asian strain.

Virologists warn there is no vaccine against the H5N1 strain recently found in China and Vietnam that could potentially carry risks for humans and called for closer monitoring of the disease in poultry and wild birds to stop it spreading.

Bird flu first broke out in India in 2006 and millions of chickens and ducks have been culled since to contain the virus, but it has resurfaced from time to time.

India did not give further details about the exact strain of flu found in the latest outbreak West Bengal.

Read more on:    india  |  health  |  bird flu

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Prince George the green prince?

Prince Charles hopes his grandson's love of the outdoors will become a passion for the environment.



One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa
China's air pollution at doomsday levels
Keep food fresher for longer
Hurricanes, earthquakes and floods – What climate change really means for us

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly


The full moon energy can be quite intense today as your emotions fight against reason. It is important to ground your ideas more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.