Bird flu outbreak: Culling meets resistance, admin acts tough

Published: 29th December 2016 10:58 PM  |   Last Updated: 29th December 2016 10:58 PM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Culling in the H5N1-affected Keranga village continued for the second day but not without stiff opposition faced by the rapid reaction teams (RRTs) as a small section of the villagers suppressed their possession of the birds.

While 90 percent of the villagers have extended cooperation, it was the rest whose opposition posed a real challenge.

In one instance, a family even hurled chilly-laced water at the veterinary teams to scare them away. Police found out that the family was in possession of 30 birds.

Sources said, some villagers turned abusive did not allow the teams to search their premises prompting the
administration to adopt a tough stand of conducting door-to-door search. With even women members blocking passage of the teams, search was getting tougher.

Secretary, Animal Resources Development Department Bishnupada Sethi said, given the sensitive nature of the flu and bio-security protocol, suppression of the birds will not be allowed at any cost. The local administration with police will search the houses to carry out the culling operation, he added.

The district administration also made it clear to the locals that compensation will not be provided to those who suppress information about the birds in their possession. Only those disclosing the figures voluntarily will be eligible for the compensation.

The local administration has urged the headman of the village to spread the word about the flu’s grave nature once.

“We have explained to them that in the event of human transmission, the fever would be difficult to control and villagers must cooperate in their own interest,” said sources.

By Thursday evening, the number of poultry birds culled stood at 667 and Rs 52,340 was paid towards compensation.

As many as five teams were pressed for culling while one team was engaged in mopping. For surveillance, three teams were deployed and one team was engaged for disinfection and sanitation. The administration is hopeful of completing the operation tomorrow.

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