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FAO: China's bird flu prevention 'professional'
Updated: 2004-02-20 08:07

Experts from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Thursday said in Nanning that China's bird flu prevention work is "appropriate and professional" after they concluded an inspection tour of the nation's first bird flu case site in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomou Region.

Xu Ji, assistant FAO representative to China, made the remark in his talk with officials of the local government, after he and Laurence Gleeson, another FAO expert, completed their two-day inspection in Guangxi.

Gleeson, an FAO consultant and senior animal disease expert, called China's bird flu prevention and control work "appropriate" Wednesday after field research was completed at Yong'anli Village, less than 2 km from the site infected with bird flu. The team investigated the culling and vaccinating of local poultry, and related compensation work.

The two experts Thursday morning learned in detail about the technical training and sample test procedures at the Guangxi animal epidemic prevention station. They checked original records on the sampling and testing of the first bird flu case, and inquired about the use of vaccine.

Xu and Gleeson later held talks with officials from the Guangxi aquatic and animal husbandry bureau, the center for disease prevention and control, and the forestry bureau. The FAO experts were informed of Guangxi's animal epidemic control system, its operation, and measures that have been taken to prevent the spread of bird flu between animals, and possibly from animals to humans.

Gleeson was especially interested in the flight route of migratory birds in Guangxi, which has over 530 bird species, 140 of which are migratory. No certain conclusion has been reached so far on the source of the bird flu virus, but scientists are doing research to find out if migratory birds were responsible.

This is the first time for the FAO to send experts to bird flu-affected areas in the country after the first case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza was reported in Guangxi at the end of January.

The two experts left Guangxi Thursday afternoon to fly to Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province, where they will continue their investigation work.

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