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Bird flu scare prompts chicken vendor inspections

Inspectors speak to chicken vendors in Kalewa, Sagaing Division, about the risks of bird flu on 26 April 2016. (Photo: DVB)

Government veterinary officials in Sagaing Division are inspecting chicken meat and eggs sold at local markets in the wake of a recent avian influenza outbreak.

Officials from the Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department (LBVD), accompanied by local municipal and Consumer Protection Association members, inspected chicken vendors at several markets in Sagaing’s Indaw Township earlier this week and educated them about the disease, according to Dr Kyaw Min, the chief officer of the Indaw LBVD.

“On 25 April we inspected the market in Indaw town and on the following day we went to the markets in Meza, Nabar and Mawlu along with local officials and municipal workers. We mainly checked where the chicken and eggs being sold came from — whether they came from the Monywa area” where the outbreak occurred, said Dr Kyaw Min.

“We also handed out leaflets to the vendors with basic education on the avian influenza.”

He said the move came as a precaution measure.

“Chicken sold at the local markets usually comes from local farms. We warned the breeders to promptly inform their village officials if they detect any sudden, unusual death of chickens in their farms,” he said, adding that there has been no indication of outbreak in the Indaw area.

The influenza strain detected in Monywa is reported to be H9N2.

Also on 26 April, veterinary officials in the Sagaing town of Kalewa accompanied local municipal workers and consumer protection officers as they inspected chicken vendors at the town’s main market in a similar pre-emptive measure, said an official who took part.

“We inspected chicken vendors at the town’s market as there has been an outbreak in Monywa and we heard about some chicken trucks from there heading to the Kalewa area last Friday,” said the official.

“At the moment, there has been no report of an outbreak in Kalewa but we would like to take measures to prevent such an outbreak occurring.”

Reporting by DVB