KOTA BARU: The Veterinary Services Department has declared four districts in Kelantan as avian flu epidemic areas.
This move follows the detection of traces of the H5 strain of the avian flu virus at Kampung Kuchelong, Bachok, which is outside the 10km radius of the Pasir Pekan area in Tumpat, where the virus was first detected.
The other two districts are Pasir Mas and Kota Baru.
Kelantan Veterinary Services director Dr Idris Kadir said the latest case proved that smuggling of infected poultry was the chief cause for the spread of the disease.
We believe the smuggling activities had been going on for some time now because anal swabs from poultry at Kampung Kuchelong showed that the virus is in the incubation stage, he said at a press conference in his office here yesterday.
Veterinary Services director-general Datuk Dr Hawari Hussein announced yesterday that the virus had been detected at Kampung Kuchelong and Kampung Laut in Tumpat.
The other villages hit by the disease are Kampung Baru Pasir Pekan, Kampung Belian, Kampung Kebakat, Kampung Bukit (all in Tumpat), Kampung Paloh Hilir in Pasir Mas and Kampung Chabang Tiga, here.
Dr Idris also said that to date a total of 3,459 chickens, ducks, other poultry and pet birds had been culled.
In Kuala Lumpur, Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the Government was seeking full co-operation from all parties to contain the virus and keep it localised in Kelantan, CELESTE FONG reports.
I do not want to create unnecessary alarm, but dont let it spread to other states and become a national threat, he said.
Muhyiddin, however, said he was afraid many in Kelantan were still unaware of the danger of avian flu, thinking that it was ayam mati aja lah (just another chicken dying).
Dr Hawari said both Kampung Laut and Kampung Kuchelong had been quarantined and called for 100% co-operation from the people.
He added that the Government was thinking of enlarging the quarantined area.