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Nepal stops import of poultry items from India following bird-flu scare

Nepal has stopped importing all kinds of poultry item from India after some states in the neighbouring country recently reported the outbreak of bird flu.

The ban came into effect on Thursday, officials said.

Nepal's Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development has directed all its offices to halt the import of poultry items from India, which is the primary market for the Himalayan nation's multi-billion poultry industry.

The Ministry has instructed all local offices and quarantine checkposts to remain vigilant and stop the import of poultry items.

It also urged the local authorities to stop open trading of poultry items close to the Nepal-India border.

There are several other border, as well as entry points between Nepal and India through which besides poultry, other items are also coming freely.

"It is very difficult to check the import and exports of all trading items in this time of urgency between Nepal and India because the countries share a long open border and is not possible to deploy officials to check the malpractices that take place in bordering areas," a senior Nepal government official told IANS.

The bird flu cases have been detected in more than a dozen states including Kerala, Gujarat, Haryana and Bihar since the past one week.

Shree Ram Ghimire, spokesperson at the Ministry of Agriculture, confirmed that only certified poultry products are permitted to be imported inside Nepal.

Nepal has set up 16 quarantine centres across the Nepal-India border on the Nepali side and told them to gear up to stop importing poultry products, Ghimire said, adding as of now, no single case has been detected in the Himalayan nation despite a surge in the bird flu cases in India.