The Department of Livestock Development (DLD) has warned poultry farmers to closely monitor their livestock amid multiple bird flu outbreaks around the world.
According to DLD Director-General Sorawit Thanito, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) recorded outbreaks of avian influenza at 5,213 locations in 61 countries for 2021. A recent OIE article published on February 25, 2022, reported outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N1 H5N6 H5N2 H5N5, and H5N8 viruses in more than 30 countries across Africa, America, Europe and Asia. The World Health Organization (WHO) has meanwhile reported human infection cases and fatalities of H5N6 avian influenza in China.
The director-general assured that the DLD is keeping a close watch on the situation and remains on high alert to prevent bird flu from entering the Kingdom. The DLD has also underlined the importance of prevention measures to local officials and advised poultry farmers on how to protect their livestock from bird flu. Farmers are encouraged to raise their livestock by prioritizing biosecurity measures such as preventing natural birds from interacting with their livestock, sanitizing farms and surrounding areas at least once a week, and quarantining new animals before allowing them to join the main flock.
The DLD is also requesting that farmers assist in closely monitoring the health of their livestock. Villagers are urged to alert officials immediately if they observe any unusual symptoms or poultry deaths, adding that their remains are not allowed to be distributed or consumed under any circumstances. Farmers can contact the District or Provincial Livestock Offices near their area for more information.(NNT)