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Threat of bird flu increases
02 | 06 | 2007
The number of bird flu-affected cities and provinces in Viet Nam has increased from 10 to 12, the Animal Health Department said yesterday.

The northern provinces of Ha Nam and Vinh Phuc were the latest regions to be added to the black list after a number of waterfowl were diagnosed with the avian influenza virus, according to the department.

Meanwhile, in Ninh Binh, Nam Dinh and Can Tho provinces the disease has continued to break out in many new areas. The risk of bird flu will peak in October, according to the Agriculture Minister Cao Duc Phat.

He has asked the Animal Health Department to send all its veterinary workers to communes to help stop the spread of bird flu.

The drive will last from May 30 until whenever the spread of the virus stops.

Deputy head of the department, Bui Quang Anh, said the cause of poultry deaths in the three northern provinces of Thai Nguyen, Quang Ngai and Thanh Hoa remained unknown but the risk was still high.

Minister Phat asked local provinces to strictly enforce the regulations on bird flu prevention set out by the department, including disinfecting areas and vaccinating poultry.

He ordered local provincial authorities to vaccinate freshly hatched waterfowl.

In several provinces, only 50 per cent of waterfowl were vaccinated.

Strictly monitoring the transport, trade and slaughter of poultry, as well as checking for quarantined birds at border check points, is also required.

City cracks down

The city authorities recently asked local districts to intensify inspection at city gateways to stop the smuggling of unsafe poultry into the city’s markets.

The municipal Steering Committee for Bird Flu Prevention also decided to impose strict penalties on violators who had illegally traded unquarantined, unsafe poultry and poultry products in markets.

HCM City on average consumes every day 100,000 poultry transported from local provinces. According to the city’s Animal Health Deaprtment, 10 per cent of the poultry imported into the city has not been quarantined properly.

Illegal chickens seized

Meanwhile, Bac Giang Province’s Animal Disease Control Supervising Group yesterday seized more than 2,000 chickens being illegally transported in Viet Yen District.

The lorry carrying the chickens was travelling from the adjacent province of Lang Son on National Highway 1A when it was stopped by officials.

The chickens, of unknown origin, did not have veterinary quarantine stamps.

The driver and the presumed owner of the chickens left the scene before they could be apprehended.

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