Indian Health workers plan massive slaughter of chickens

Health workers planned Tuesday to complete a massive slaughter of chickens in western India aimed at containing an outbreak of the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus.

More than half a million birds have been killed in the Navapur district since the virus was found in samples from some 30,000 dead chickens. The government plans to cull a total of 700,000 birds within a 3-kilometer (1.5-mile) radius of the outbreak in the state of Maharashtra.

But while the culling may have stopped the spread of the virus, local farmers were distraught over their losses and wondering how they would survive.

"It is a question of livelihood for 5,000 families," said Ghulam Vhora, a member of a Navapur poultry farmers' association.

"We are all jobless," said Vhora, whose 30,000 birds were killed.

On Monday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh ordered 48 poultry farms around Navapur, more than 400 kilometers (250 miles) northeast of Bombay, to be emptied and said they would remain shut for three months.

The government has offered farmers compensation of 40 rupees (US$ 0.90; Ђ 0.75) per bird, but the farmers say this is not enough to make up for their losses and a long period of closure for the farms, which are a major source of eggs in the region.

"This is totally inadequate," said Vhora.

"This should be treated as a national calamity, like an earthquake, and the government should act in the same way," he said.

On Monday, inspectors visited homes and farms surrounding Navapur, a town of 30,000 people, searching for signs of illness and making sure even chickens being raised at private homes were killed and properly disposed of, reports the AP.


Subscribe to Pravda.Ru Telegram channel, Facebook, RSS!

Author`s name Editorial Team