Kathmandu: An outbreak of bird flu in a district near the Nepalese capital prompted authorities to cull nearly 54,000 chickens, officials said today.
On Wednesday, the government declared Bhaktapur district, 13 km east of Kathmandu, as a “bird flu emergency zone” after the failure of measures to control the disease. Bird flu was first reported in the district some two weeks ago.
Khagendra Raj Bhatta, chief of the District Livestock Services Office, said 53,308 chickens in 26 poultry farms were culled and 181,526 eggs and 4,363 kg of feed were destroyed yesterday.
The spread of the disease has caused panic among residents of Bhaktapur district for the past few weeks. A dozen teams of health workers have been sent to the area to cull chickens.
Prior to this, 276,853 bird flu-infected fowls were culled, and 624,000 eggs and 27,000 kg of poultry feed were destroyed in the region by authorities.
Last week, the government banned the sale and transport of poultry products in three districts of Kathmandu valley - Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur.
The ban was lifted in Kathmandu and Lalitpur districts a few days ago. Local poultry farms are protesting against the government's move to cull all chickens.
Farm owners have asked authorities to cull only bird flu affected chickens.