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Home >> Life
UPDATED: 08:21, March 01, 2006
Pakistan launches bird flu poultry culling
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Pakistan began on Tuesday culling of poultry in the country's North West Frontier Province, a day after several cases of bird flu were found among chickens there, officials said.

The country's Ministry of Livestock detected for the first time on Monday cases of bird flu H5 virus in parts of the province.

The Authorities have completed chicken cull in a poultry in Charsadda district, some 150 kilometers northwest of Islamabad, Arbab Shah Rukh, Secretary Agriculture Ministry said Tuesday.

He said that the culling process has also been started in Abbottabad district, adding that a total of 30,000 chickens would be killed during the operation.

The chickens were disposed off by carbon dye oxide and carbon mono-oxide and buried near the farm.

Samples taken from other poultry farms in the area are being sent to Islamabad for laboratory tests, investigation officer of the provincial livestock department Dr. Sher Muhammad said Tuesday.

The samples are being sent to World Reference Laboratory in Weybridge in the United Kingdom for confirmation.

Further steps will be taken after receiving test reports of the samples, he added.

In 2003 Pakistan destroyed 3.5 million birds after an outbreak of the less virulent H9 and H7 forms.

Meanwhile, health officials are going door-to-door in the region, looking for any people who may be showing signs of the virus.

So far, no human cases have been found, but several people with flu-like symptoms are under observation, authorities said.

Samples collected from these two farms in North West Frontier Province have shown the presence of low pathogenic avian influenza H5, an official statement said.

As a precautionary measure, these farms have been quarantined and the provincial government has been advised to work with Pakistan Poultry Association and take active necessary measures to contain the infection, the statement said.

Source: Xinhua

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