Bird ‘flu measures tightened up

PHUKET: Governor Udomsak Usawarangkura has ordered all state agencies to cooperate in eradicating bird ‘flu, after the reappearance of the disease in parts of Thailand this year.

On Thursday, Gov Udomsak called a meeting of heads of state agencies in Phuket to ensure the island remains free of the disease.

This meeting followed one the previous day in Bangkok, during which Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra told the governors of all 76 provinces that he wanted them to make every effort to wipe out the disease within 30 days and commanded the governors to lead the charge.

Gov Udomsak divided the task up between the island’s three vice-governors – with each being assigned to head up preventive measures in one of Phuket’s three districts.

“All parts of the province will cooperate to check all poultry farms to make sure that this disease is not in Phuket,” the governor told them.

The Chief of the Phuket Provincial Livestock Office (PPLO), Sunart Wongchawalit, told the meeting that the PPLO checked all poultry farms in Phuket during the first bird ‘flu outbreak at the beginning of this year, and could find no evidence of the disease on the island.

However, he said, the PPLO would carry out a complete check again in order to guarantee that the province is safe from the disease.

K. Sunart added that, in order to prevent bird ‘flu being brought into Phuket, the PPLO are cooperating with the police at Tah Chat Chai checkpoint to examine all trucks transporting poultry onto the island.

“Officials at the checkpoint are on duty to inspect papers that authorize the transport of live poultry. The PPLO will take random tests of live poultry to make sure they are disease-free,” K. Sunart said.

In the case of chicken meat, officials will demand and inspect papers showing the results from state laboratories, confirming that the meat is disease-free.

K. Sunart also recommended that poultry farmers inspect their own farms. If more than 10% of their birds die in a 24-hour period, they should assume that there is an outbreak of bird ‘flu and contact the PPLO to cull all the birds on the farm. The PPLO will then quarantine the area.

He added that residents should report any suspicious situations they know of by calling the PPLO during work hours at Tel: 076-216934 (x14) or 076-218596. Reports outside office hours may be made to Tel: 06-5841742, 09-7297941 or 01-8943069.

No cases of bird ‘flu have yet been detected in Phuket.

Phuket News
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