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Ministry urges localities to be on alert for bird flu outbreaks
27 | 10 | 2007
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has urged localities to keep a watchful eye on bird flu cases, as a nationwide outbreak is expected.

Bui Quang Anh, director of the ministry’s Animal Health Department, said that Viet Nam would likely face a bird flu outbreak in the near future. An outbreak of bird flu recurred in the southern province of Tra Vinh. Northern provinces are also in high risk because the cold air is favourable for the proliferation of the virus.

"Some localities have discovered dead chickens, but have not yet determined the cause. We fear contamination from cross-border, illegally imported poultry because relevant sectors continue to discover a lot of illegally imported poultry in Viet Nam," said Anh.

The Animal Health Department is focusing on guiding localities nation wide to carry out a second vaccination programme this year and to continue to apply preventative methods.

Half of the 64 cities and provinces have carried out vaccinations, two weeks ahead of schedule.

The department has granted nearly 90 million doses of vaccines for localities and is making lists of vaccine and disinfectant demands of each area.

Anh said the ministry has recently asked Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to reprimand the chairmen of provincial people’s committees who have not carried out vaccination programmes, causing the return of bird flu.

"We have learned that in the areas where local authorities have carefully guided people to prevent outbreaks and given timely financial support, the outbreaks have been better controlled," Anh said.

Moving poultry

Location for poultry and egg hatcheries will be relocated outside city limits, away from residential areas, universities, schools, hospitals, markets, offices and public areas, according to a new prime ministerial decision.

The decision states that poultry hatcheries units will stop operation if localities are not declared free of bird flu. Breeding farms will have to carry out prevention methods following animal health regulations, they will be allowed to breed new flock only after authorised agencies have declared them free of bird flu.

People’s committees in cities and provinces are required to disseminate this information and mobilise households and individuals to eliminate small-scale poultry breeding.

Source: VNS
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