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Bangladesh says detects bird flu in poultry

March 23, 2007

Bangladesh says detects bird flu in poultry

DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh said on Thursday the H5N1 bird flu virus had been detected in poultry near the capital Dhaka. 

"Avian influenza virus has been detected in a poultry firm in Savar, 25 km from Dhaka," the information ministry said in a statement late on Thursday. 

"A special meeting of the (government's) council of advisers was held today with chief adviser of the interim government Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed in the chair," it said. 

A Bangladeshi chicken vendor seen at a market in Dhaka in this May 29, 2006 file photo. Bangladesh said on Thursday the H5N1 bird flu virus had been detected in poultry near the capital Dhaka. (REUTERS/Rafiqur Rahman)
"The council was informed by the health, agriculture and livestock advisers that samples from the Savar poultry tested in the Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute and the National Institute of Animal Health in Bangkok showed the existence of the H5N1 virus." 

The virus was found in the birds from a poultry firm run by Bangladesh's National Airlines Biman, which has already culled 30,000 birds over the last few days. 

Biman officials had earlier denied the culling had any relation with bird flu. They were not immediately available on Thursday night for comment. 

Syed Abu Siddiq, secretary of Bangladesh Poultry Industries Association, said there were 125,000 small and big firms in the country, producing 250 million broilers and 6 billion eggs annually. 

He said some 40 million Bangladeshis were directly or indirectly associated with poultry farming. 

Last year Bangladesh banned imports of chickens and eggs from 25 countries in Europe and Asia, including India, after H5N1 virus had been found there. 

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