Nepal has declared an avian influenza emergency in Bhaktapur, one of the three districts of the Kathmandu Valley. The declaration was made at a meeting between government officials and poultry farmers on August 15, as Bhaktapur has witnessed more than 40 cases of avian influenza since July 16.

As many as 10 rapid response teams were deployed to the Bhaktapur district to destroy poultry and poultry products. About 500,000 birds, including chicken, ducks and pigeons, are to be culled along with their eggs and feed, while poultry farms will be cleaned and disinfected, according to reports.

The emergency zone will remain active for a minimum three months. During this period, birds cannot be transported to or from Bhaktapur. Poultry sales will also be banned.

The Nepal government will compensate poultry producers for their loss of business, with first priority being given to the smaller operations, government spokesman Narayan Ghimire said. The amount of compensation has not yet been determined.