Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Bird flu not only threat facing poultry farmers




Bird flu not only threat facing poultry farmers

Bird flu not only threat facing poultry farmers

Dear Editor,

We are writing in response to the article "Local chicken farmers pushed to bankruptcy" [July 6, 2009], citing bird flu as one of the reasons for the economic difficulties facing poultry farm owners.

We at the Department of Animal Health and Production (DAHP) and Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) acknowledge the frustration of the poultry farm owners interviewed in the story, but it would be unfair to put the blame solely on avian influenza, or bird flu, alone.

There are other poultry diseases that have been affecting Cambodia's poultry population even before avian influenza arrived. The low incidence of avian influenza - 23 outbreaks in poultry (chicken, ducks, geese, turkeys, guinea fowl and wild birds) since 2004 - compared to other diseases did not result in a major threat to the livelihoods of small poultry producers, which make up more than 99 percent of poultry owners in Cambodia.

However, avian influenza's ability to kill people - seven out of eight cases - makes it more dangerous to humans than other poultry diseases.

Avian influenza shares similar clinical signs with Newcastle Disease and fowl cholera, so that DAHP and FAO have been encouraging poultry keepers and farm owners to report sudden, high and spreading mortality in their poultry immediately to the hotline (012 833 795 or 012 214 970) or if they do not have access to telephone, to their village animal health workers, village chiefs, district or provincial veterinary officer. Only laboratory tests can confirm whether the cause of mortality in their poultry is due to avian influenza or other diseases. Reporting is essential to avian influenza containment.

FAO has been supporting DAHP in investigating other potential sources of avian influenza such as ducks and wild birds. So far, results of sampling have not found avian influenza to be circulating in the 12 duck markets in 11 provinces surveyed since 2007. Samples collected by the Wildlife Conservation Society from wild birds in the wetlands and in the markets also yielded negative results.

Dr Kao Phal
Director, DAHP

Dr Lotfi Allal
Chief Technical Adviser, FAO

Send letters to: [email protected] or PO Box 146, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The Post reserves the right to edit letters to a shorter length.
The views expressed above are solely the author's and do not reflect any positions taken by The Phnom Penh Post.

MOST VIEWED

  • CDRI poll: Most happy but disappointments still exist

    A survey has found that over 70 per cent of Cambodian youths and adults approve of the direction the country is headed in, with the majority of respondents saying they had been doing better financially over the past five years. However, more than half said they

  • Drugs raid on Miami Night Club, 50 held

    Anti-drugs police raided a club in Chamkarmon district’s Boeung Keng Kang I commune in Phnom Penh early on Thursday, arresting some 50 people and confiscating drug-producing equipment and suspected illegal substances. Deputy National Police chief Mok Chito said on Thursday that police conducted the raid

  • Phnom Penh: The street food you adore, but given a refined twist

    There is no shortage of street food vendors scattered across Phnom Penh, but what is far rarer is finding a place that also has comfortable seating, good hygiene and parking. This is where Jing Ling and her five friends step in. With the concept of

  • Battambang court releases minor who shot boy

    The Battambang provincial court on Thursday released a 14-year-old boy who had been detained for accidentally firing a home-made gun and killing a nine-year-old boy in Samlot district on Tuesday, provincial court spokesman Tieng Sambor said. Sambor told The Post on Thursday that following the