Nepal reports second outbreak of bird flu in chickens

Nepal reports second outbreak of bird flu in chickens Kathmandu  - Nepalese authorities Saturday confirmed the second outbreak of bird flu in the eastern part of the country.

The new cases of the deadly strain of H5N1 virus were discovered after 149 chickens died at a poultry farm in Saranamati village of Jhapa district, about 450 kilometres east of Kathmandu, government officials said.

Officials sent samples of the dead fowl to England for tests.

"The reports from England confirmed that the birds died of bird flu," said Hari Dahal, the spokesman for Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives. "We have declared emergency in the area and will start culling birds from Saturday."

Nepalese media reports said all the chickens that died of bird flu were imported from India despite a ban on such imports.

The new outbreak came barely two weeks after the government said it had controlled the disease which first surfaced in January on the border of Kakarbhitta in the same district.

Following the initial outbreak, the government teams culled more than 24,000 chickens and other birds and imposed emergency measures around the town.

Officials said they will pay compensation to poultry farmers and individuals whose chicken and ducks are destroyed.

Police in Jhapa district said they were closely monitoring 350 poultry farms in the district and 135,000 chickens were being kept under special watch.

Nepal has banned imports of chicken, poultry products and other birds from India since January. (dpa)