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Agriculture Ministry conducts poultry vaccination against Newcastle Disease in Belize City

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Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2021. 1:22 pm CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Officers of the Belize District Agriculture Station today conducted poultry vaccination against Newcastle Disease in the Faber’s Road Extension area of Belize City.

“Our officers went out in the area yesterday to find out how many birds are in the area, and they found out that there are about 170 birds, so today they went out to vaccinate them,” said Miguel Balan Acting District Agriculture Officer.

Balan said that today’s vaccination was conducted in collaboration with the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA).

According to Balan, there was an outbreak in the area and also in the Toledo District.

He said that they will also be canvassing the rural area of the Belize District, where at the last count there were about 4,000 domesticated birds, to assess the number of vaccines and additional resources required.

“We have vaccines to start in the rural communities, so we will be moving into the rural communities of the Belize District in the coming week,” Balan said.

The Newcastle vaccines were acquired through the offices of the Poultry Association, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), and the International Regional Organization for Agricultural Health (OIRSA), according to Balan.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise (MAFSE) said the administering of vaccines to poultry and other domesticated birds is “an emergency control measure implemented in the infected and control areas”.

MAFSE said there were reports of two outbreaks of virulent Newcastle Disease in backyard poultry in small areas of the Toledo District and Belize City in September.

According to MAFSE “Newcastle Disease is caused by a virulent strain of paramyxo virus which can be spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of infected birds”.

The Agriculture Ministry added that vaccines for backyard poultry for the rest of the country will be subsequently made available through commercial outlets.

“It is essential that all poultry owners follow good biosecurity practices to help protect their birds from infectious diseases,” said MAFSE. “These include simple measures such as washing hands and scrubbing boots before and after entering a chicken coop or barn, cleaning and disinfecting tires and equipment before moving them off the property, and separating sick and vaccinated birds.”

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