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Nepali gov't lifts bird flu ban
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15:26, June 08, 2009

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The government has lifted an over three month-long ban on farming and transportation of poultry products in Mechi Municipality in eastern Nepal, where the first case of bird flu was detected, local media reported on Monday.

According to myrepublica.com, a cabinet meeting on Friday took the decision after two surveillance teams comprising experts and technicians found no sign of the avian influenza within the radius of 10 km of the Mechi customs office -- the flashpoint of bird flu.

The first case of bird-flu was detected on January 16 in a small non-commercial poultry farm.

"The cabinet took the decision as per our proposal to ease the ban on farming and movement of poultry in the affected area as we didn't find any case of bird flu during a 90-day surveillance," Dr.Hari Dahal, spokesperson of the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives (MoAC) told myrepublica.com.

The Department of Livestock (DoL) had, a couple of weeks ago, recommended to the MoAC to lift the ban immediately after the completion of more than three months of surveillance in the affected area.

Prabhakar Pathak, DoL director general, said the recommendation was made after studying reports submitted by district-level and central-level surveillance teams.

The government had maintained strict restrictions on taming and transportation of fowls within a three km radius of the affected area and kept close watch on symptoms of bird flu within the radius of three to 10 km.

Pathak also said that the DoL is also preparing to make recommendations to lift the ban on poultry farming and transportation of poultry products in Sharanamati village of Jhapa, some 320 km east of Kathmandu -- where the second bird flu case was detected on February 22.

According to the existing Bird-flu Control Order 2007, the government can lift the ban on farming and transportation of poultry products in the bird-flu affected area if a 90-day surveillance finds no new case of recurrence of the disease.

Source: Xinhua

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