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September 9, 2015

Agriculture Ministry ends $6 million avian flu outbreak in Cayo

Wednesday, September 9, 2015. BMG: The Ministries of Health and Agriculture; Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA); and the Belize Poultry Association have announced that the outbreak of low pathogenic avian influenza H5N2 in the Cayo District earlier this year has ended.pic

BAHA is to lift quarantine and other control measures implemented following detection earlier this year. The last case was detected on June 5 with depopulation and decontamination four days later. Three months on according to international standard, the area is safe from avian flu, though at a cost of over $6 million to Government and the poultry industry.

The Government thanks its partners in the industry as well as OIRSA and Mexican authorities for technical support and resources to make Belize the only country in the region to have successfully eradicated the virus.

However, there is still concern of a worse strain of virus being introduced by migratory wild birds from North America, and restrictions have been placed on the movement of live poultry other than day-old chicks until further notice.

BAHA, in close collaboration with the private sector is managing identified risks by implementing enhanced regulations for poultry establishments and the movement of live poultry and poultry litter, and poultry farmers across the country whether commercial or backyard, are encouraged to maintain their biosecurity measures and to notify BAHA of any high mortality or unusual occurrence in their flocks.

BAHA wishes to reassure the public that poultry meat and eggs are safe for human consumption.

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