Nepal has banned imports of European poultry to guard against an outbreak of bird flu, officials said Friday. Nepal's hatcheries imported birds mostly from the United Kingdom and Germany, said Dhana Raj Ratala, who heads Nepal's animal health department.
"Nepal has decided to stop all imports from Europe since outbreaks have been reported," Ratala said.
Lethal strains of bird flu have been confirmed among fowl in Romania, Turkey and Russia.
Nepal banned imports of Peking duck from China on Sept. 12 after reports of an outbreak of the deadly disease there, the AP says.
Nepal has introduced an "automatic ban" on imports of birds from countries that are included on the World Health Organization's list of bird flu-affected countries, he said.
Imports of poultry from India, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will continue, Ratala said.
Although there have been no reported cases of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu in poultry or in people in Nepal, authorities say they are being cautious about the spread of the virus through migratory birds, which move to warmer southern regions from Russia and China as winter sets in.
The migration of birds from Tibet was also worrisome for Nepalese authorities, as cases of bird flu in wild fowl have been reported in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, Ratala said.
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