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Poultry Deaths in Nepal from Newcastle Disease

by 5m Editor
2 March 2009, at 5:25pm

NEPAL - The cause of poultry deaths has been identified as Newcastle disease. It had been feared that the mortality was caused by highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).

The Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives (MoAC) in Nepal has clarified that the mass death of chickens in two poultry farms in Morang district was due to Newcastle disease, commonly known as ranikhet, reports myrepublica.com.

The ministry's explanation came amid widespread fear among the public about possible outbreak of bird flu in Tankisinuwari area where the farms are located.

"All samples of dead chickens brought from those farms tested negative for bird flu during tests at the Central Laboratory in Tripureshwar on 1 March. The chickens died of infection by Newcastle disease which is caused by Paramixo virus," Dr Hari Dahal, spokesperson of the ministry told myrepublica.com.

Those samples had tested negative for bird flu during the test at regional lab in Biratnagar on 28 February.

Dr Dahal also informed that Biratnagar-based Regional Livestock Directorate confirmed death of 380 chickens in two commercial farms with report of 70 more sick chickens.

Media reports on 28 February said more than 1,000 poultry died in two days in the commercial farms run by Dinesh Sitaula and Kiran Kafle of Tankisinuwari-4 of Morang district.

Local people were panicked as the word of mass death of chickens spread as they feared it could be bird flu. Bird flu was found in Jhapa district one and a half months ago. They had demanded explanation from the government over last week's poultry deaths.

The owners of the farms have claimed that they suffered a loss of about 200,000 rupees with the death of chickens. A team of veterinary technicians from regional laboratory in Biratnagar had collected the samples and conducted immediate test before sending them to Kathmandu for further investigation, according to myrepublica.com.