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H5N1 bird flu hits India

Authorities in Assam in northeast India have ordered the culling of thousands of chicken and ducks after a fresh outbreak of bird flu was discovered.

"We were informed that the samples sent to laboratories in Bhopal and Pune have been tested positive. So we have ordered for culling in the area…," said senior government official R. C. Jain. "It is H5N1 stain," he said.

Concerns were raised after hundreds of poultry died in Rajabazar village, just 35 km west of Guwahati.

Reports state that more than 30,000 chickens and ducks would be slaughtered in next 3 days in 20 villages.

Natalie Berkhout

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