Hill towns ban poultry products


Jan. 30: The municipalities of Darjeeling and Kalimpong have banned the sale of poultry products in the two towns from today, but the civic body in Kurseong is still mulling over the decision.

R Thatal, the executive officer of the Darjeeling Municipality, said: “We decided to take this precautionary step because bird flu has rapidly spread in other districts.”

Though Darjeeling district is still untouched by the flu, most chicken vendors in the hills source their products from the plains through Siliguri. Bird flu has been confirmed in the nearby district of Cooch Behar.

Civic authorities in Darjeeling met the 40-odd major vendors of the town on January 25 before imposing the ban. Today, all shops selling poultry products were shut.

In Kalimpong, sanitary inspector Sanjay Pradhan said: “We request both sellers and buyers not to trade in broiler chickens and eggs till they hear from us.”

The vice-chairman of the Kurseong Municipality, Sanjay Chhetri, said the civic body “is yet to decide on the ban”.

In Takdah, 35km from Darjeeling, 38 chickens died in a poultry farm yesterday. “We have sent the samples to Calcutta. The chickens may have died of cold,” said district magistrate Rajesh Pandey. Yesterday, the temperature was sub-zero in Darjeeling.


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