KATHMANDU, Oct 15: Directorate of Animal Health (DoAH) culled 780 chickens at the poultry farm owned by Hom Bahadur Khadka of Bode-3 in Bhaktapur district, Monday following the confirmation of a strain of H5N1 bird flu virus.
The veterinary technicians also destroyed 150 crates of eggs and six sacks of feeds stored at the farm. The decision to kill the fowls was taken by the meeting of district co-ordination committee led by Chief District Officer (CDO) held in morning.
Officials at DoAH said that out of 2,000 chickens at Khadka´s farm, 1,200 had already died due to the virus. The chickens at his farm started dying nine days ago.
After scores of chicken started to die, samples were sent to Animal Health Laboratory (AHL), under DoAH, for examination. Though the laboratory had confirmed the presence of the flu virus on Saturday, the authorities killed chickens only on Monday.
"The preparation for culling chickens takes at least two days," Dr Narayan Prasad Ghimire, a senior veterinary officer at DoAH, said.
In the past, the government used to send samples abroad for confirmation of the disease. But now, Ghimire said, we have the facility to determine the presence of the virus in the country itself. We will begin disinfecting the area from Tuesday.
"We will intensify surveillance and deploy veterinary officials to monitor other poultry farms close to Khadka´s," he said.
Ghimire assured that all infected chickens have been destroyed and that people can eat chicken without any fear.
"I urge people not to worry about possible infection. Cook properly and eat without any hesitation as there is no risk of infection," he said.