AVA buys off poultry to reduce bird-flu risk

A TOTAL of 75 ducks and chickens owned by 18 households on Pulau Ubin were bought by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) yesterday, as part of an effort to reduce the risk of these backyard creatures getting bird flu from wild birds. 

The purchases were made a day before the islanders were required to comply with a directive to keep no more than 10 birds - in cages - per household, after which, any excess poultry would be removed by the authorities. 

AVA spokesman Goh Shih Yong said: “We understand the residents kept some of the fowl for their livelihood and decided to buy those over at the market rate.” 


He added: “While Singapore and Pulau Ubin remain free of bird flu, we still want to make sure the disease does not enter the country via Ubin's backyard farms, as it's not practical for those to have the same biosecurity features as the commercial farms on the mainland.” 

Yesterday's exercise was the second to be conducted this year.  

When bird flu hit several places in Asia earlier this year, the AVA rounded up 544 ducks and chickens from Pulau Ubin households. – The Straits Times/ Asia News Network  

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