Vietnam faces an increased risk of bird flu, brought on by the weather weakening poultry resistance. Some 29,700 birds have been destroyed in the latest swath of outbreaks of the influenza virus, taking place in the centre of the country.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Diep Kinh Tan announced that with the prevailing weather there was a high risk of new bird flu outbreaks due to unfavourable conditions weakening the resistance of poultry.
He also stated that ineffective management of poultry transportation in border provinces was also contributing to the heightened risk.
During the past two weeks, bird flu has reappeared in Hai Phong City, with poultry infections numbering as high as 67,000, while the number in Ha Tinh Province was 17,000.
Bird flu outbreaks have so far been reported in the two cities of Hai Duong and Hai Phong, along with the provinces of Quang Binh and Ha Tinh.
More than three million doses of bird flu vaccine have been allocated to the localities and nearly 100,000 affected chicken, ducks and other birds have been destroyed.
Tan asked the localities and agencies to strictly implement the Prime Minister's directive last week requesting them to strengthen inspection and control of poultry imports to Viet Nam to prevent bird flu.
The Director General of the department of Animal Health, Dr Nam Hoang Van, has submitted the latest report on HPAI to the OIE. Since the last report submitted in late July, six new outbreaks of H5N1 have occurred, though isolated to the centre of the country.
The outbreaks are taking place in rural villages, and to date some 29,753 birds have been destroyed.
To control transmission of the disease via illegal poultry imports, the PM asked border provinces to encourage local people not to take part in the transport and trade of unidentified and un-quarantined poultry.
Other ministries, including the ministries of Industry and Trade, Defence, Finance, Public Security, Agriculture and Rural Development, and Information and Communications, were asked to work together to deal with illegal imports of poultry, while strengthening inspections and popularising measures to prevent H5N1 human influenza and information relating to the fight against bird flu.