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Progress in the planned culling of 400,000 poultry following recent outbreaks of bird flu in the state of Bengal in India are being hampered by farmers and poultry owners reluctant to co-operate with animal husbandry teams sent to carry out the task.
According to a Reuters news agency photographer, some villagers at the centre of the outbreak said their ducks and chickens were not infected and were refusing to hand them over. Others have released their birds, making it hard for the culling teams to catch and destroy them.
Reporting from Calcutta, the Associated Press news agency said that over 50,000 birds have been culled in the third day of the planned 7 day operation to contain the spread of the virus which has hit districts in West Bengal, and which the World Health Organization has described as the worst bird flu outbreak in India to date.
The state government of Bengal said earlier this week they were planning to cull 400,000 poultry birds in a 5 to 10 kilometre radius of areas affected by the latest outbreak of H5N1 bird flu.