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Belize trying to control poultry disease outbreak

Agricultural authorities in Belize are trying to get control of an outbreak of the highly contagious Newcastle Disease in poultry flocks in the country.

The USDA's laboratory in Ames has confirmed with the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) that poultry specimens submitted from Belize have tested positive for the disease.

It is reportedly the first time that the virulent form of this poultry disease has been found in the country, although the non-virulent form is known to occur.

"The present outbreak is being controlled with the assistance of government authorities, industry and international organisations," said a government statement.

"The disease has no public health implications for people not occupationally exposed. The poultry meat is safe for human consumption. BAHA has stepped up inspection at all slaughter plants to ensure that all birds slaughtered are from healthy flocks."

Natalie Berkhout

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