Nepal reports outbreak of bird flu

Kathmandu, Feb 4 - Nepal has reported an outbreak of bird flu in the country, a media report said Thursday.

Six samples collected from a poultry farm in the western district of Pokhara tested positive to the H5N1 virus, Xinhua quoted Hari Dahal of the agriculture and cooperatives ministry as saying.

The samples were sent to London's Weybridge Laboratory for confirmation after they tested positive in Nepal, Dahal said Wednesday.

Health authorities collected the samples after about 100 chicken and 38 ducks in a farm in Ghoripatan died in January.

Meanwhile, the government has formed a committee headed by Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Mrigendra Kumar Singh Yadav to take steps to control the spread of the disease.

A cabinet meeting Wednesday decided to send a Rapid Response Team (RRT) to the affected area, some 140 km west of Kathmandu, for close surveillance.

About 10,000 chicken, ducks and other birds in the area could be killed to prevent the spread of the disease. Dahal said the ministry was planning to ban movement of poultry products to and from the affected area. (IANS)