Kathmandu, January 24

The government has decided to impose on ban on the import of meat products which may spread African swine fever.

A decision to this effect was made by a meeting of the Council of Ministers held on January 17, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Gokul Prasad Baskota said today. He had organised a press conference at his office to make public Cabinet decisions last week.

According to the World Health Organisation, ASF is a contagious viral pig disease and can be transmitted through direct contact with infected animals. Its virus can also survive several months in processed meat and several years in frozen carcasses, so meat products are a particular concern for cross-border transmission.

It is believed that the disease was initially brought from east Africa to Georgia by contaminated pig products. The disease has generally been present in countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, and has more recently been reported in Eastern Europe (including the Ukraine and Russia). In August 2018, it was reported for the first time in China, and in September 2018 it was detected in wild boar in Belgium.

In January, Mongolia also first reported ASF. Recently, China had culled 916,000 pigs after around 100 outbreaks of ASF fever in the country, say international media reports. However, no human death has been report in any country.

Similarly, the Cabinet has decided to give approval to the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs to formulate an impeachment bill, purchase shares of International Reconstruction and Development Bank under the World Bank Group, and accept a technical grant assistance equivalent to 1,996,199 euros provided by European Union Delegation to Nepal.

The Cabinet also decided to give compulsory retirement to employees of Gorakhkali Rubber Udyog Limited, form a talks team headed by joint secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies Ravi Shanker Saiju for the second meeting on review of Nepal-India Treaty of Trade and Commerce-2009, and grant permission to remove trees for laying Raxaul-Amlekhgunj Petroleum Pipe along its alignment.

Likewise, the government has decided to release one million rupees for 44 persons who are undergoing treatment at Bir Hospital due to injuries they sustained during the armed conflict. The beneficiaries of the relief also include persons who were maimed during the conflict. This amount will also cover their travel and accommodation costs, according to the Cabinet decision.