December 27, 2012
Bangladesh culls livestock over bird flu concerns
Bangladesh's livestock authorities are culling about 150,000 chickens at a farm near Dhaka after the most severe outbreak of avian flu in five years.
The deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu was detected at Bay Agro farm at Gazipur, 40 kilometres (25 miles) north of Dhaka after dozens of chickens died, prompting the company to send samples to a laboratory for tests.
Bangladesh was hit by bird flu in February 2007, when over one million birds were slaughtered on farms.
The last major outbreak was in March 2010 when at least 117,000 chickens and 200,000 eggs were destroyed at a farm in northern Bangladesh.
The latest outbreak is the 23rd to be recorded this year. Even before the new mass slaughter, a total of 107,252 chickens had been destroyed in 22 farms, said Ataur Rahman, a livestock control room official.
The country has also reported six confirmed human cases of bird flu since May 2008, but the government's health department said all have recovered.