Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Sarawak on bird flu alert

NST: KUCHING: Sarawak is on high alert after a "very serious" case of bird flu was detected in Kalimantan, Indonesia.
Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan said yesterday that all poultry products brought in from Kalimantan would be confiscated at the border.
Dr Chan said the police and army would be called in to mount roadblocks to check the smuggling of poultry and its products across the border.
"The smugglers will be charged in court," he said, adding that a fine of RM50,000 or two years’ jail, or both, await anyone convicted of smuggling poultry under the Public Health Ordinance 1999.
Dr Chan, the state Disaster and Relief Management Committee chairman, said the stringent measures were necessary as poultry in Sarawak was not vaccinated against bird flu, unlike in Kalimantan.
He said the veterinary department had placed its rapid action teams on standby in the event of a bird flu outbreak. They would be sent out immediately if a case was reported.
He warned poultry farmers to report to the Veterinary Department if three per cent of their poultry die from bird flu.
"The government also wants those who rear kampung chickens to report to the authorities if any of their birds die of suspected flu."
He said they risk being fined RM500 if they fail to report bird flu deaths.

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