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VietNamNews

Officials step up measures to prevent spread of bird flu

Update: August, 22/2012 - 10:22

 

An egg processing plant operated by Ba Huan Co in HCM City. Ninety per cent of 77 egg farms in the city have failed to meet requirements on site, waste, hygiene and sanitation. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hai
HA NOI — Ninety per cent of illegal poultry imports had been prevented over the last 10 days, however, stricter measures were needed to control the transmission of bird flu, said Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Diep Kinh Tan yesterday.

He said there was a high risk of fresh bird flu outbreaks so control of illegal poultry imports was the most effective solution to stop the disease from spreading.

Bird flu outbreaks have so far been reported in the provinces of Quang Binh, Ha Tinh, Hai Phong, Nam Dinh and Ninh Binh, with more than 140,000 chickens, ducks and other birds affected due to ineffective management of poultry transportation in border provinces.

About 100,000 birds are illegally imported into Viet Nam every week via border provinces.

According to the Animal Health Department, it was likely there would be scattered outbreaks of the disease in some localities in northern provinces in the near future.

Tan asked localities and agencies to strengthen inspections and control of poultry imports to Viet Nam to prevent bird flu.

Substandard eggs

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has reported that ninety per cent of egg farms in HCM City are sub-standard.

The ministry said that the farms contravened a new ministry regulation, Circular No 34, dealing with sanitation.

The circular, which will take effect from September 3, regulates that all registered egg businesses must be isolated from residential zones.

It also details requirements for storage facilities, waste treatment, labour hygiene and sanitation.

According to Phan Xuan Thao, director of the city office of Animal Health, only five out of 77 egg farms in HCM City met all the requirements.

According to staff, it would be difficult to meet all the demands of the circular in such a short space of time without closing most businesses.

Staff also said that there were not enough departmental employees to supervise the changes.

They added that the circular aimed to control food hygiene and safety for registered businesses only, and that it did not apply to unregistered egg collectors and traders who were the major egg suppliers. — VNS

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