As bird flu has been confirmed in poultry samples collected from two villages in West Bengal, the central government has asked the local administration to immediately undertake culling operations in the area.

Samples from the villages of Tehatta I block in Nadia District were examined by the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL) in Bhopal and found positive with traces of H5 strain of Avian Influenza.

To control the highly contagious disease, the administration has decided to cull the entire poultry in a radius of 3 kilometers. In addition to the culling strategy, surveillance will be carried out over a further radius up to 10 km, the administration said.

Apart from this, surveillance will be intensified throughout the state of West Bengal to monitor further spread of infection, said a statement. The central government has also asked the local administration to furnish a daily report on the control and containment operations.

The center has also advised immediate measures like declaration of infected and surveillance areas, ban on movement of poultry and its products in the infected area; closure of poultry and egg markets and shops within a radius of 10 km from the infected site, ban on movement of farm personnel, restricting access to wild and stray birds, restricting access to the infected premises, destruction of birds, disposal of dead birds and infected materials; clean-up and disinfection followed by sealing of the premises and issue of sanitization certificate, post operations surveillance and imposition of legislative measures.

As regards the compensation for loss of poultry on account of culling, the central government will share costs of compensation on 50:50 basis with the state governments and has made available funds under the program 'Assistance to States for Control of Animal Disease' (ASCAD), which is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme.