Singapore increases inspections to keep out bird flu

10:06, January 28, 2009

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The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) of Singapore increased inspections at poultry slaughterhouses to keep bird flu out of the country, local media reported on Tuesday.

Local radio 938 Live said the AVA has been stepping up efforts by doubling inspection rounds to twice a week at poultry slaughterhouses and taking samples to tests for the H5N1 virus.

The AVA said that despite the country has comprehensive plans for a flu pandemic, it cannot be complacent, according to the report.

At the opening of Conference on Pandemic Preparedness in Asia which was held on Jan. 12 in Singapore, the country's Deputy Prime Minister Wang Kan Seng urged Asian countries to work together to develop an effective system of disease surveillance and reporting in every high-risk area.

In 2004 and 2006, slaughterhouses in Singapore were twice affected by bird flu scares in Malaysia.