Livestock dept issues bird flu alert to poultry farms

Livestock dept issues bird flu alert to poultry farms

The Department of Livestock Development (DLD) has warned poultry farmers about an increased risk of bird flu as deadly strains of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) have been detected in many countries.

DLD director-general Sorravis Thaneto on Friday cited reports last year by the World Organisation for Animal Health, formerly the Office International des Epizooties (OIE), of outbreaks in 61 countries around the world.

The most recent, dated Feb 25, noted outbreaks of the H5N1, H5N6, H5N2, H5N5 and H5N8 subtypes in more than 30 countries in Europe, America, Africa and Asia.

The H5N6 strain was the most frequently found strain in Asian countries such as Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and China.

In response, the DLD has reiterated the need for precautionary measures in the domestic sector, and has tightened its biological security protocols and given best practice guidance to poultry farms and farmers.

The DLD also urged poultry farmers to inform livestock or related officials of all unusual deaths or sickness, he said.

In a virtual meeting, meanwhile, Mr Sorravis welcomed the arrival of officials from Malaysia's Departments of Veterinary Services and Islamic Development to assess 28 poultry-related factories to certify them to export Halal foods into their domestic market.

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