Hundreds of birds have been culled in central Nepal following confirmation of a highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak on a poultry farm.
Animal health officials decided to cull all birds and destroy eggs suspected to be infected with a strain of H5N1 virus in Bhaktapur district, 15 km east of the capital Kathmandu.
The Directorate of Animal Health killed 780 chickens at the poultry farm following the confirmation and around 150 crates of eggs and six sacks of feeds stored at the farm were also destroyed as part of preventive measures.
Samples were sent to an animal health laboratory for examination after a sudden spurt in deaths at the farm. According to officials out of 2,500 chickens at the farm, 1,200 had already died of infection from the virus.
"Surveillance will be intensified and veterinary officials deployed to monitor other poultry farms in the area," said Dr Narayan Prasad Ghimire, a senior veterinary officer at Department of Animal Health.
High alert was issued in and around Kathmandu to prevent the spreading of the virus.