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Agriculture ministry orders bird flu shots for all poultry
16 | 06 | 2007
With bird flu spreading to 16 provinces and cities since it resurfaced last month, the Government on Tuesday instructed animal health authorities around the country to immediately vaccinate all poultry.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat also ordered local veterinary workers to ensure all freshly hatched ducks were vaccinated.

Also on Tuesday his ministry dispatched an emergency message ordering provincial leaders to take drastic measures to check outbreaks and severely punish officials responsible if the epidemic broke out.

It has banned transport of poultry from infected to other areas, and is closely monitoring farming and slaughter of poultry, disinfection of affected poultry farms, and culling of sick poultry.

It has also intensified campaigns to raise public awareness in using poultry products, telling people not to consume unsafe poultry meat and rush people with symptoms of bird flu – like bad cough, high fever, and breathing difficulties – to hospital.

Illegal chickens seized

LANG SON — Market-watch teams in the northern province of Lang Son on Tuesday seized more than 550kg of live chickens being illegally transported within Dong Dang Town, Cao Loc District and Lang Son City.

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

The birds were then slaughtered by the provincial Animal Health Department. — VNS

Nguyen Huy Nga, head of the ministry’s Preventive Medicine Department, said four cases of human bird flu have been reported in the country this year. Two had recovered while the other two remain in hospital.

WHO assistance

The UN’s World Health Organisation has agreed to provide Viet Nam US$2.5 million to acquire the technology for producing human vaccines against the H5N1 strain of bird flu virus.

Vietnamese health officials said, however, at $20 million the cost of this Hungarian-made technology was very high.

Another UN agency, the Food and Agriculture Organisation, provided funding for installing a cold storage facility to preserve poultry vaccines in the central province of Quang Ngai on Monday. The central Animal Health Department shared the VND500 million ($31,000) equipment cost.

Meanwhile, the health ministry is mobilising drugs, respirators, and other medical equipment needed to help hospitals treat bird flu patients.

Ducks slaughtered

Hundreds of white winged ducks (ngan) found dead in the outskirts of Ha Noi last week have been destroyed without testing for H5N1 virus.

The shocking news was released yesterday by the Director of the municipal Animal Health Department Tran Manh Giang.

The birds, discovered in Dong My Commune, Thanh Tri District, had not been vaccinated against H5N1 virus, according to Giang.

He said the local authorities immediately removed the flock of birds and disinfected the site, but ignored a very important step – sending the bird samples to animal health diagnosing centres for necessary tests. It means authorities will not be able to ascertain the reasons why the birds died in such a large number.

Viet Nam News
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