Friday, May 3, 2013

FAO paints bleak picture of H5N1 control efforts in Egypt

 May 3, 2013 - CIDRAP:

A new report from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says Egypt's poultry production sector is riddled with gaps that hobble efforts to control H5N1 avian influenza, which has been endemic in the country since 2008. The problems include weak farm biosecurity measures, wide and unregulated use of variable vaccination protocols by commercial farms, co-circulation of H5N1 and H9N2, household producers' ignorance of the importance of quarantining newly bought birds, unregulated live-bird trading, and weak movement control. Further, "some specialized traders actually profit from the disease by purchasing birds known to be infected at very low prices and reselling them via door-to-door peddlers or to the slaughterhouse, which in turn sells frozen birds to the fast food outlets," the report says. It predicts that H5N1 will continue to circulate in Egypt as long as poor biosecurity conditions persist. To remedy the situation, the FAO calls for national poultry production standards and guidelines to support good management and the formation or strengthening of grassroots producers' associations. The report is based on a study in 2010 and 2011 of H5N1 transmission pathways and critical control points in Egypt's poultry sector. The country has had 173 human cases of H5N1 since 2006
April 2013 FAO report (65 pages)

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