Govt bans poultry imports from bird flu hit countries

Kathmandu, February 20:

The government today imposed official ban on poultry imports from the bird flu affected countries, including India, in accordance with the Animal Health and Livestock Services Act 2055 BS effective from today.

“The government has officially banned the poultry imports from today as a precaution against bird flu,” said Dala Ram Pradhan, director general of the Department of Livestock Services (DLS).

Dr Dhana Raj Ratala, the programme director at the Animal Health Directorate under the Department of Livestock Services, said the government has also decided to keep all the livestock related offices throughout the nation, including regional animal disease investigation laboratories, district livestock services offices, regional training centres, regional directorates, quarantine offices and check posts on high alert.

DG Pradhan said the districts adjoining Indian states have been declared high-risk zones. The reporting and surveillance on bird flu will be intensified in these areas by a unified team to be formed soon. The new team will also monitor and destroy all the poultry products imported illegally. Pradhan said monitoring for bird flu is now the top priority of all livestock offices throughout the country.

Pradhan, however, said Nepalis need not feel panicky as there has been no trace of bird flu in Nepal as yet. “We are going to hold a meet with the private sector tomorrow to discuss this issue,” he said. The national media — Radio Nepal and Nepal Television — and the local FM radios will disseminate information on all the developments on the disease. Besides that, hoarding boards and other notices will be used to spread awareness.

Ratala said the government would also establish additional animal quarantine check posts where necessary. The Central Animal Disease Investigation Laboratory, Tripu-reswor, has been declared the focal point for the monitoring of bird flu in Nepal, Ratala added.