Flu worries boost inspection efforts

Officials on April 26 raided a wholesale poultry market in Hanoi, in an effort to prevent the smuggling of poultry from China.
Officials on April 26 raided a wholesale poultry market in Hanoi, 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, which has killed at least 22 people in China and infected about 108 people.

The visit involved Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat and Deputy Head of the Government Office Nguyen Khac Dinh.

They visited Ha Vi, the largest wholesale market for poultry in Hanoi 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.

According to Minister Phat, his ministry is planning to standardise veterinary certificates nationwide and enforce the works of agriculture inspectors.

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 Vietnam.

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.
As the weather changes, the risk of contagious diseases like A/H1N1, H5N1 and H7N9 spreading increases. Provinces nationwide including Lai Chau, Tuyen Quang, Bac Giang, Ha Nam, Bac Lieu and Tien Giang have actively tightened the quarantine, slaughter, hygiene, trade and transport of poultry.
So far, no H7N9 cases have been recorded in Vietnam.-VNA

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