HA NOI – Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung yesterday asked authorities, especially those in border provinces, to tighten inspections and control of poultry imports in an attempt to stem a bird flu epidemic.
Drastic measures must be taken to stop unquarantined poultry from entering Viet Nam, he said.
Since the beginning of this year, bird flu has been reported on a small scale in the provinces of Quang Binh, Nghe An, Hai Duong, Hai Phong, Bac Ninh and Quang Ninh.
The outbreaks were caused by a lack of awareness among poultry farmers and poor preparation in disease prevention and control.
Infected birds that penetrate the domestic market pose a high risk, and the Prime Minister has instructed localities to boost communication and prepare to tackle the disease.
Leadership, individuals and authorities at all levels will be responsible for conducting measures to prevent, stamp out and control the disease if it occurs in their localities.
In border provinces, relevant grass roots agencies will contact local residents to ask them not to transport or trade poultry that is unquarrantined or of unidentified origin.
The PM also called for better co-operation among the ministries of Industry and Trade, National Defence, and Agriculture and Rural Development to tighten inspections and punish violations.
A journal of the American Society for Microbiology released research into a new strain of bird flu yesterday that has been causing deadly pneumonia among baby seals, which could pose a risk to humans.
AFP reported that scientists at Columbia University urged caution, given the history of bird flu and its ability to evolve into forms that can infect people like H5N1. – VNS