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Fiji safe from bird flu, says ministry

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  • Fiji safe from bird flu, says ministry

    Fiji safe from bird flu, says ministry

    Thursday, May 10, 2007

    THERE is no threat of the Avian Influenza or bird flu for Fiji, says the Ministry of Agriculture's acting principal veterinary officer, Doctor Robin Achari.
    He said the ministry was merely trying to make the public aware of the disease.
    "I am trying to inform the public to keep an eye out for anything suspicious," Dr Achari said.
    "We would also like to encourage the public to participate and report anything out of the ordinary because we would like to keep our borders free of bird flu."
    The Information Ministry earlier said precautionary measures taken by the Agriculture Ministry came in the wake of concerns of an avian flu outbreak in Fiji.
    Dr Achari said everyone should weigh the chances of bird flu entering the country and take precautions in looking after their birds.
    "Quarantine protocols are in place that restrict poultry imports from other countries except New Zealand as New Zealand has the same or similar disease status as Fiji," he said.
    "This bird flu disease has the potential to close our poultry industry and we have been encouraging farmers to practice bio-security measures on their farms."
    Symptoms of bird flu include a large number of birds dying suddenly or showing a range of clinical signs. These include birds having a swollen head, showing dullness, a drop in egg production or loss of appetite and discharge from the eye and nose.
    The majority of bird flu cases have been discovered in Asian countries where farmers have had to destroy their birds in a bid to stop the disease from spreading to humans.