H5N1 scare in Nepal, hundreds of birds culled
Kathmandu: Hundreds of birds have been culled in central Nepal after the presence of bird flu virus was confirmed at a poultry farm.
Animal health officials decided to cull all birds and destroy eggs suspected to be infected with a strain of H5N1 virus in Bhaktapur district, 15 km east of the capital Kathmandu.
Tests at the farm had confirmed the presence of bird flu virus in the chicken.
Directorate of Animal Health killed 780 chickens at the poultry farm following the confirmation, officials said on Tuesday.
Around 150 crates of eggs and six sacks of feeds stored at the farm were also destroyed as part of preventive measures.
The decision to kill the fowls was taken by the meeting of district co-ordination committee headed by Chief District Officer (CDO) held yesterday.
According to officials out of 2,000 chickens at the farm, 1,200 had already died of infection from the virus.
After a sudden spurt in deaths of the birds, samples were sent to an animal health laboratory for examination.
Though the laboratory had confirmed the presence of the flu virus on Saturday, the chickens were culled only yesterday.
"The preparation for culling chickens takes at least two days," said Dr Narayan Prasad Ghimire, a senior veterinary officer at Department of Animal Health.
Authorities began disinfecting the area today.
"Surveillance will be intensified and veterinary officials deployed to monitor other poultry farms close to Khadka's," he said.
High alert was issued in and around Kathmandu to prevent the spreading of the virus.