Posted by: kenwbudd | March 15, 2010

H5N1 Avian flu Bangladesh: 117,000 birds slaughtered to stem infection

At least 117,000 chickens were destroyed in northern Bangladesh Sunday after avian flu outbreak on one of the country’s largest poultry farms, a local official said.

The deadly H5N1 strain of flu was detected on Saturday when 400 chickens died suddenly at the Kazi Farms complex in Thakurgaon town, district livestock chief Mosaddekur Rahman reported.

“Tests confirmed presence of the H5N1 bird flu in 15 sheds of the farm and we ordered destruction of all 117,600 layer chickens,” he said.

Kazi Farms is Bangladesh’s largest poultry bird and egg producer. General manager of the company Ataur Rahman said another 200,000 eggs had also been destroyed in the single largest outbreak of bird flu in the country.

“Our loss will be more than 400 million taka (six million dollars),” he said.

Bangladesh was hit by bird flu in February 2007, when more than one million birds were slaughtered on thousands of farms across the country.

The last major outbreak was in November 2008 when 10,000 birds were culled over a two-month period, with smaller outbreaks detected in 2009.

Bangladesh’s poultry industry is one of the world’s largest, producing 220 million chickens and 37 million ducks annually.

The country reported its first confirmed human case of bird flu in May 2008, but the government said the 16-month-old baby who contracted the virus recovered.

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