A senior agricultural official has called on provinces nationwide to intensify measures to prevent the spread of bird flu viruses, especially the transmission of H7N9 into Vietnam as the new strain continues spreading in neighbouring China .

At a meeting of the national Steering Committee for Bird Flu Prevention and Control held in Hanoi on May 7, Vu Van Tam, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, warned of the high risk of the epidemic on poultry despite measures taken to control any outbreak.

Authorities in southern provinces are taking comprehensive and drastic measures to prevent avian flu.

Tra Vinh province has mobilised all resources to provide vaccinations for poultry and cattle and disinfect vulnerable spots.

In addition, the trade and transport of poultry within the province are also under strict control.

In Vinh Long province where the H5N1 avian flu virus is undergoing, the province’s agricultural sector is stepping up ways to isolate outbreaks and contain them from spreading further.

A batch of 500,000 vaccines was handed over to local veterinary stations to vaccinate poultry raised in the province.

Meanwhile, Dong Thap province is carrying out a hygiene and disinfection month in all localities.

Accordingly, public places, poultry markets, abattoirs and egg incubators are on the list to be disinfected.

The trade of poultry in the province’s districts neighbouring Cambodia is also under control.

According to the provincial Animal Health Department, there has been no newly-detected outbreak in the province so far.

Over the past three weeks, no province nationwide has reported new cases of bird flu, the Steering Committee reported.

As of April 20, samples taken from swallows in Ninh Thuan province were tested negative for the H5N1 virus, said Head of the Animal Health Department Pham Van Dong at the meeting.

Tam also revealed that his ministry will issue a circular regulating the exploitation of swallows in the coming time.-VNA