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Bird Flu Outbreak in Bali

Officials Cull Hundreds of Birds and Close Markets After Death of Bali Child Initially Linked to H5N1 Virus Outbreak

(5/2/2012) Bali Animal Health Officials have again recorded a new outbreak of Bird Flu among Bali’s poultry populations. Officials warn that Bali, as area endemic to the H5N1 Virus, can expect the disease to sporadically present itself at any location around the island from time to time.

Quoted by Beritabali.com, the head of the Livestock and Animal Health Department for Bali, Putu Sumantra, blamed the appearance of Bird Flu in Bali over the past year on low levels of bio-security, particularly at bird and traditional markets where traders place little importance on following guidelines to eliminate the disease.

“The implementation of bio-security measures, by both traders and consumers, is little considered. Because of this, the disease is sporadically appearing, with 12 cases identified to date,” explained Sumantra.

Another factor making Bali vulnerable to the disease is the widespread tendency to allow poultry to roam freely in areas of human populations.

As many as 230 fighting cocks were rounded up and destroyed by officials at the Satria Bird Market in downtown Denpasar on Thursday, April 26, 2012. The slaughter followed the death of an 8-year-old child from Kintamani identified by preliminary laboratory tests as a victim of the H5N1 Virus and the sudden death of a chicken purchased from the Satria Bird market.

Dr (veterinarian) Wayan Sukandi of the laboratory of the Livestock and Animal Health Department said, “the destruction of hundred of chickens was done to interrupt the cycle of contamination for the H5N1 Virus.”
The mass culling of birds took place after a “rapid test” confirmed the virus was present in the market’s bird population.

The birds, originating from Probolinggo and Jember in East Java, were euthanized through fatal injections before having their remains burned.

In 2012 Bali has recorded two deaths linked to the H5N1 virus. In February a resident of Tabanan died from Bird Flu. The latest death of a child from Bangli, Kintanani on April 24 was tied to the virus, but subsequent confirmatory tests carried out in Jakarta reportedly proved negative for the H5N1 Virus.