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First results of bird flu vaccine hopeful

Initial results from the pilot production of H5N1 vaccines for combating bird flu in poultry are positive, said Truong Van Dung, Director of the Vietnamese Animal Health Institute in Hanoi.

At a meeting of the National Steering Committee to Control Bird Flu, Dung said the Central Veterinary Medicine Company was experimentally producing 200,000 doses of vaccines.

The institute would also conduct studies for vaccinating ducks and one-day-old white-winged ducks (ngan), he said, pointing to the necessity of vaccinating small ducks for increasing their immunity before raising on a large scale.

According to the Animal Health Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), 57 out of the 63 provinces and cities nation-wide, except for HCM City where poultry raising has been banned, have inoculated local poultry as planned.

The MARD Minister, Cao Duc Phat, however, voiced concerns over the lax management of poultry slaughter, trade and transport in many localities. Farmers in certain areas have raised water fowls despite the ministry ordering a temporary ban, he said.

The MARD, meanwhile, has successfully bred ducks in enclosed coops away from the water for providing safe meat to consumers as a nation-wide ban on duck farming continues.

Nguyen Dang Vang, head of the ministry's Animal Breeding Department, said the new method was a closed cycle from hatching the eggs, raising, slaughter, and supply.

The Government ban, to last until February 28 next year, has resulted in illegal hatching and smuggling of ducks into the country, he said.

To meet the consumer demand, the department began a pilot programme last month to breed ducks at the Dai Xuyen Duck Research Centre in Ha Tay Province west of Hanoi and Binh Duong Farm Technology Centre in the south.

During the pilot project, to last 11 months, the Animal Breeding Research and Production Institute will supply ducks bred using British strains.

Editor WorldPoultry

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