Posted: Thursday, September 9, 2021. 7:16 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: The Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) has detected suspected cases of the virulent Newcastle disease in poultry in southern Belize. According to BAHA, the “disease is endemic in Belize and historically the country has experienced sporadic outbreaks in backyard poultry”.
BAHA reports that earlier this month their laboratory in Central Farm conducted PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests on poultry samples received from Silver Creek village in Toledo and the results were positive for Newcastle disease. However, international protocols are being followed and in line with the policy of World Organization for International Health (OIE) for listing a disease of trade importance, “a positive result from BAHA is considered a suspect case and samples need to be sent to an OIE reference laboratory for confirmation”.
In a press release issued late on Friday evening, the Government of Belize informed that “BAHA, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise, the Belize Poultry Association, the Regional International Organization for Agricultural Health (OIRSA) and the Interamerican Institute for Collaboration on Agriculture (IICA), is now instituting the Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan that BAHA has for OIE listed poultry diseases of trade importance”.
The emergency plan includes movement control to prevent further spread from the infected region, vaccination of backyard poultry to curb the epidemic and maintaining a high level of biosecurity of the commercial operations. This will be accompanied by a public awareness programme and continuous monitoring of affected areas.
The release advises the public as well as backyard and commercial poultry producers to be vigilant for sick and dying birds and report cases to BAHA and the Ministry of Agriculture at 824-4899 and 822-2241, respectively.
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