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FOWL PLAY: Takeo orders destruction of ducks

The Takeo province Agriculture Office has ordered the farmers of domesticated ducks across the province to incinerate their birds and temporarily suspended the sale of the animals’ meat until the results tests for the H5N1 virus (also known as bird flu), come back from Phnom Penh this week following mass deaths of the fowl. Nhib Sron, director of the Takeo agriculture office, said that since the middle of January, about 50,000 ducks in the province’s Koh Andeth district had contracted an unknown illness, and that there were signs the disease had reached some communes in neighbouring Tramkak district. “We haven’t identified the virus or other agent causing these deaths, but we sent some of the dead animals to a Phnom Penh laboratory for analysis,” Nhib Sron said. Thai Ly, Takeo province’s chief officer of domesticated animals, said that 16,442 ducks had died since the outbreak began, and that roughly 31,000 more have fallen sick.

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