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VietNamNews

Smuggling increases killer bird flu threat

Update: April, 09/2013 - 10:08
China's chicken, both live and slaughtered, are still being smuggled into Viet Nam, despite concerted border controls, raising fears of the spread of deadly bird flu strain H7N9 for which there is no vaccine.—VNS File Photo

HA NOI (VNS)— China's chicken, both live and slaughtered, are still being smuggled into Viet Nam, despite concerted border controls, raising fears of the spread of deadly bird flu strain H7N9 for which there is no vaccine.

Three to five tonnes of rejected poultry are transported to Ha Vy Wholesale Market in Thuong Tin District of Ha Noi each day, said deputy director of the Livestock Production Department Nguyen Duc Trong.

Thousands of chickens of unknown origin were to be found in Phu Xuyen District of Ha Noi on certain days, said Trong, whose department is under the Agriculture Ministry. Smuggling and trading of rejected birds from China has also been reported in the northern mountainous province of Cao Bang, in areas such as Quang Tuyen and Trung Khanh.

Efforts have been stepped up to stop the smuggling in border provinces of Lang Son and Quang Ninh and in Hai Phong City to prevent lethal H5N9, which has killed six people and infected dozens in China lately, but they are not totally ineffective. Animal Health Department head Pham Van Dong said the virus hadn't been detected yet in Viet Nam but the country faced a huge risk of infection for which no vaccine was available.

Viet Nam had no way to fight the disease if it crossed the border, said Dong.

Authorities reported smuggled chickens cost around VND10,000 (nearly US$0.50) a kilo and were sold for VND70,000-80,000 ($3.50-$4) in Viet Nam.

The smugglers transported the live poultry by boat and a range of road vehicles, including cars and motorbikes. Last week, northern border Lang Son Province's authorities stopped a sedan car with more than 300kg of chickens smuggled from China while authorities in Co Loa District of Ha Noi found a sedan car carrying more than 330kg chicken carcasses.

Meanwhile, Quang Ninh Province's Animal Health Department director Doan Duy Ai said licence procedures for pigeon importing and transport, had been strengthened after reports said that they may have brought the strain to China. — VNS



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