Bird flu terror grips Pokhara farmers, consumers

POKHARA: A duck at local Mina Pariyar's farm in Khalte, Pokhara-17 died all of a sudden on February 17.

The Regional Veterinary Laboratory examined the case: just to prove that the fowl was infected with the HPAI and H5N1 viruses, popularly known as the bird flu.

From February 17 till today, 16 other ducks and eight chickens from the same farm also succumbed to the similar symptoms.

After the incident, poultry farmers and consumers in the city have been rendered panic-stricken.

Dr Kedar Raj Pandey of the RVL said more than 300 human beings, 100 chickens and 200 ducks are suspected to have been infected by the virus.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the Bird Flu Control Technical Committee presided over by the Kaski Chief District Officer Hari Prasad Mainali on Friday evening decided to prohibit transactions at the farm of Pariyar and the surrounding within a 200-metre radius for next 42 days.

The meeting also decided to kill all birds domesticated in the area and bury them safely.

Likewise, all the locals would go through a medical examination, following the decision.

Meanwhile, the District Livestock Service Office Chief Purushottam Tripathi said consumers could protect themselves from the virus by cooking the meat well; and farmers by adopting safety measures while working.

On the other hand, the price of chickens has significantly dropped in Pokhara. While it was traded at Rs 400 per kg on Friday, the price has been reduced by Rs 40 per kg.