Guangzhou reports suspected bird flu outbreak

Updated: 2007-09-15 20:41

China's southern city of Guangzhou has reported massive deaths of ducks in a village which are suspected to be a bird flu outbreak, according to information posted on the website of the Ministry of Agriculture.

On September 5, farmers in Sixian village, Xinzao Township in the Panyu district of Guangzhou started to report death of their ducks, and by September 13, 9,830 ducks had been reported dead, it said.

Samples of dead ducks were sent to the provincial animal disease prevention and control center, and initial lab tests showed the samples were positive with the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus.

Samples have been also sent to the National Avian Influenza Reference Laboratory for testing and the result is yet to be announced.

Local veterinary authorities had culled about 32,630 ducks as of September 14, it said.

Sources with the provincial department of agriculture said they have sent staff to disinfect the affected area, and no further deaths of fouls have been reported in the Panyu district or nearby areas.

As the world's largest producer of poultry, livestock and aquatic products, China has much to lose from outbreaks of animal diseases. It is estimated that animal diseases cost China 40 billion yuan annually.

China has reported a total of 25 human cases of bird flu since 2003, which have resulted in 16 deaths.

China's top legislature last month adopted the amendment to the law on animal epidemic prevention, which requires all animal owners to comply with compulsory vaccination policies, especially owners of poultry and livestock bred in rural backyards, and pets owners in urban houses.


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