India orders poultry culling after bird flu outbreak

Story highlights

  • The disease is reported in two West Bengal villages
  • It's identified as an H5 strain of avian influenza
  • A ban is recommended on moving poultry from infected areas

Authorities ordered immediate culling of poultry in eastern India after samples tested positive for bird flu.

The disease was reported in two villages of West Bengal state's Nadia district, the Indian agriculture ministry said Tuesday.

Laboratory tests confirmed the infections as the H5 strain of avian influenza, according to officials.

"It has been decided to immediately commence the culling of birds and destruction of eggs and feed material to control further spread of the disease," the ministry said in a statement Tuesday.

Culling, it added, would be carried out within a 3-kilometer (nearly 2-mile) radius of the infected zone.

In addition, surveillance will be mounted up to a 10-kilometers (6-mile) radius, the ministry said.

Federal authorities recommended banning the transport of poultry and products from infected areas, among other measures.

International organizations, the ministry said, will also be notified about the outbreak.