Bhutan reports outbreak of severe H5N1 bird flu

PARIS - Bhutan has reported an outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu virus among backyard birds, the Paris-based World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Tuesday, citing a report from the country's agriculture ministry.

The virus killed 36 out of 60 free-ranging birds reared within a temple complex in Samdrup Jongkhar, located at the south-eastern part of Bhutan, bordering the state of Assam in India. It is 200km away from the capital Thimphu and tourist belt in western Bhutan.

The remaining birds were slaughtered, the report said.

"The birds were brought from unknown sources illegally and kept within the temple complex. The disease is so far confined within the temple complex owing to strict enforcement of control measures," the report said.