The negligence of poultry farm owners and viruses infiltrating hatcheries might have led to the recent outbreaks of bird-flu in the Kathmandu valley, according to experts. In the past three days alone, the valley witnessed bird-flu outbreaks in three different places—Jitpurfedi, Nayapati and Manamaiju.
According to Dr Bol Raj Acharya, chief of the District Veterinary Office, Kathmandu, inquiries had revealed that the farms at Jitpurfedi and Manamaiju had purchased chicks from the same hatchery. Dr Acharya said their suspicions of the hatchery being infected were confirmed when both the farms developed bird-flu.
However, he did not elaborate on plans to curb the selling of chickens from such hatcheries.
Dr Narayan Ghimire, senior veterinary doctor at the Department of Livestock Services (DoLS), echoed Dr Acharya. Dr Ghimire added that many poultry owners tend to conceal their dead chickens without informing the authorities.
He said some owners had even been found to have sold dead chickens to pig farmers, thereby facilitating the transmission of the bird-flu virus to various other areas.
Meanwhile, Junga Bahadur BC, president of the Nepal Chicken Sellers’ Business Association, refuted the claims, saying they were baseless.
“In case of Nayapati, no chickens had perished due to bird-flu. Officials were stopped from culling fowl for hours,” BC said. “This means that we need to start questioning the quality of tests conducted at the Central Veterinary Laboratory.”