|Authorities inspect illegally smuggled chicken seized at Vi Thuy Ferry Port in Ha Noi's Ba Vi District . — VNA/VNS Photo Tran Viet
HA NOI (VNS)— Officials yesterday raided a wholesale poultry market in Ha Noi, in an effort to prevent the smuggling of poultry from China.
The move aims to prevent the transmission of the new and deadly strain of bird flu, A/H7N9 virus, that has killed at least 22 people in China and infected about 108 people.
The visit was made at 1am yesterday that involved Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Planning Cao Duc Phat and Deputy Head of the Government Office Nguyen Khac Dinh.
They visited Ha Vi, the largest wholesale market for poultry in Ha Noi located in Thuong Tin District. About 30-40 tonnes of poultry pass through the market daily.
The number of staff monitoring the situation has been increased three times since the Prime Minister instruction on April 15 spoke out about controlling the new flu.
Poultry to the market are only allowed to enter through two gates. Cameras record events 24 hours a day. All vehicles transporting poultry into the market must present veterinary certificates for the goods they carry.
Sixteen traders who previously sold Chinese poultry have switched to selling domestic birds.
Authorities now have the power to temporarily confiscate vehicles carrying smuggled poultry for up to 60 days.
According to Minister Phat, the ministry is planning to standardise veterinary certificates nationwide and enforce the works of agriculture inspectors.
"In a typical Vietnamese village, everyone knows when a family slaughters a chicken, so it's not acceptable if local authorities don't know whether vehicles with smuggled poultry are in their areas."
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has asked authorities in seven provinces bordering China to halt the importation of poultry, eggs, poultry breeding stock and poultry-related products.
The ministry has forbidden all types of poultry trade at border gates and between residents of the two countries.
It has also banned sales of these products at markets located at the borders and in border economic zones. In addition, the Government is also testing nests of salangane (sometimes called swift) in areas where the birds are raised. This action came after reports of sick birds in central Viet Nam.
The Health Ministry's Department of Animal Health tested 145 salangane nests and 120 samples of droppings. All but one sample tested negative for the H5N1 virus.
A total of 10,000 salanganes have been destroyed and 160 kilos of their nests heat treated nationwide.
On Wednesday, the animal-health division in Bac Lieu Province in the Cuu Long (Mekong Delta) said that three samples of salangane had tested negative for the H5N1 virus.
The Department of Animal Health's National Centre for Veterinary Diagnosis plans to test the same samples for the H7N9 virus.
The samples were collected in three inner areas in Bac Lieu town where many swifts are raised, according to Lam Tri Thong, head of the province's animal-health division. — VNS