Department takes steps to prevent avian flu

Vehicles transporting chickens and eggs from Perak to Kelantan are disinfected daily.

TO PREVENT an outbreak of the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus H5N1, the state Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) has ordered for preventive measures to be implemented immediately.

Some of these measures include passive and active surveillance, livestock movement control, advisory services and other intensive monitoring efforts to detect the virus on all forms of poultry, especially chickens and ducks.

State Rural Development, Agriculture, Plantation, Information and Human Capital Development Committee chairman Datuk Saarani Mohamad said they were currently conducting active surveillance at the border areas of the state, which is Hulu Perak as well as other districts.

“No poultry deaths can be attributed to the avian flu H5N1 so far.

“Perak is still free from the virus, but we would still continue to take precautionary steps to control the situation,” he said in a media statement here on Wednesday.

Saarani also said cooperation with other agencies such as the state Health Department is also underway, as they are investigating cases of respiratory tract infections among people who have a history of pet chickens dying under their care.

“Transmission of the disease can also occur in the presence of migratory birds.

“By working together with Perhilitan (Department of Wildlife and National Parks), we are able to launch active surveillance efforts on both migratory and wild birds in poultry farms, and it is also fortunate that we have no positive cases of the avian flu,” he said, adding that they have also reopened an operations room at the DVS to monitor all activities related to the disease.

On the transporting of poultry and eggs into Kelantan after the state declared a state of emergency to contain the H5N1 outbreak, Saarani said it was still ongoing with the help of the Hulu Perak anti-smuggling unit (UPP) actively carrying out pest disinfection on all lorries returning from Kelantan.

It is learned that as many as 15 to 16 lorries are involved in this disinfection everyday. Only three or four lorries are from Perak.

To further raise public awareness, Saarani said banners have been put up at entrance paths in Simpang Pulai and Cameron Highlands.

“These banners are to urge all vehicles transporting chickens and eggs from Perak to Kelantan to go through disinfection at any district veterinary services office nearest to them in Kelantan before coming back to Perak.

“The same reminder would also be given to those who apply for permits to transport poultry and eggs to Kelantan at the DVS counter,” he said.

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Family & Community , Perak , flu , h5n1


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