Govt announces Bhaktapur ‘a bird flu-hit zone’

File photo, Bhaktapur
File photo, Bhaktapur

KATHMANDU, Nepal- After series of attempt to curb the disease became unsuccessful; the government of Nepal has announced Bhaktapur, an adjoining district of Capital Kathmandu, a bird flu-hit zone.

A joint meeting of the concerned government agencies held in Kathmandu on Wednesday decided to announce the district a bird flu-hit zone after the incessant attempt made by the government gone vain to control the disease which has been spreading since three weeks.

The meeting held under the chairmanship of Chief District Officer of Bhaktapur and bird flu control technicians’ committee coordinator Himnath Dawadi decided to take such measure.

The meeting also requested the government to provide appropriate compensation to poultry farmers suffering loss, and to waive their bank loan.

The Department of Livestock Services has completed all necessary preparations for ‘Stamping Out Operation’ going to be launched in the district from Thursday.

Emerging from the meeting, Deputy Director of Department of Livestock Services Dr Ram Krishna Khatiwada said they had forwarded 12-point suggestions to the government regarding the compensation to poultry farmers.

So far, the H5N1 virus has been confirmed in 52 poultry farms in the district and over 624,010 eggs and 27085 kilograms of feeds have been destroyed; 276,853 fowls have been culled in the district since the first detection of bird flu virus detected in the district three weeks ago. According to Khagendra Raj Bhatta, Chief of District Livestock Services Office, around 300,000 chickens are yet to cull.

A rapid response team has taken anti bird-flu measures from this morning as per the provisions in the standard operating procedure to curb and suppression of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Nepal, it is learnt.

As per the meeting decision, up to 12 teams will cull fowls in the disease hazard zone  and poultry feeds will be destroyed within ten days.

An investigation will also be carried out to find out whether the use of unauthorized vaccines was behind the outbreak of the disease.

The team will recommend taking strong action against those if found guilty behind the outbreak of disease after the investigation.

Dr. Khatiwada, regional director Dr Damodar Sedhai, livestock experts and representative of various political parties attended the Thursday’s meeting.

In the meantime, district poultry entrepreneurs have, however, protested the government decision and picketed the District Administration Office today.



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