The Animal Healt Directorate (AHD) has declared that Nepal is free of H5N1 avian influenza, also known as bird flu. Bijay Kanta Jha, programme director at AHD, said the declaration was made on May 22 after the samples taken from the influenza affected districts returned negative.
Jha added the World Organisation for Animal Health has been notified about the declaration. After completing the quarantine, stamping out (slaughtering of infected chickens), disinfection disposal and sealing of the infected farm in the areas where the avian flu outbreak was reported to stop further spread of the virus, animal health officials conducted intense surveillance within the 7-km range of the infected areas, he said. Jha said a country can declare itself free from bird flu if there is no detection of the disease for more than 42 days following the last outbreak. The Kathmandu Valley along with Sindhuli, Makwanpur, Chitwan, Kaski, Kavre and Rupandehi districts was affected by avian flu outbreak between mid-July and mid-September last year.
According to Regional Directorate of Livestock Services (RDLS), more than 1.76 million of chickens and roosters were culled in these districts. In addition, the government also destroyed over 2.65 million eggs, 134,487 kg feed and 1,407 kg meat.
Source: The Kathmandu Post