7 Dec : Culling operations have began in Barpeta and Nalbari districts after bird flu spread to as many as four lower Assam districts with the state government launching a publicity overdrive to ensure that infection does not assume epidemic proportions.
In the worst ever bird flu outbreak in the country, since the first virus was detected in Maharastra in 2006, four Assam districts Nalbari, Barpeta and Kamrup (rural and metro) had been affected with the first disease detected in Hajo area of Kamrup (rural) district in the last week of November.More than one lakh birds had already been culled with another close to one lakh targeted to be culled.
Veterinary department Director A K Kotoky informed that all precautions were being taken to ensure the disease did not spread to new areas. No unnatural death of poultry had been reported so far from any other district.
All districts had already been put on high alert after the confirmation of the first outbreak almost ten days ago with a publicity campaign being launched to check smuggle of poultry from affected areas as well as to ensure that owners cooperate in affected areas for culling.The government was also ensuring that proper compensation, as per pre-fixed norms, reached the people.