Ever wonder what happened to Avian Influenza?

IT’S STILL AROUND…

This update from the OIE:

BANGLADESH–1/3rd of the country’s farm-raised chickens have been decimated by
the latest outbreak of bird flu, a top poultry farmer said Thursday
[21 Jul 2011], demanding compensation for the affected farms.

He said that the government needed to roll up its sleeves and help
the affected farms with compensation and vaccines in an effort to
prevent avian influenza from inflicting a mortal blow to the key
industry.

“We’ve estimated that 10 000 to 15 000 poultry firms have been
affected by bird flu. Unfortunately, the government shows it [to be]
only 153,” said Syed Abu Siddique, president of the Bangladesh Poultry
Industries Association.

He said the outbreak has cut chicken production by more than 33 per
cent in the country’s 150 000-farm strong poultry sector, wiping out
thousands of jobs and billions of taka in investment.

Siddique said the government has exempted the industry from a number
of taxes for the next couple of years in a bid to boost its growth and
make the country self-sufficient in bird and egg production.

“But no fiscal measures could bail out the industry unless bird flu
is controlled and the affected farms are paid damages,” he said. The
government has recently waived all taxes on the poultry sector and
offered tax-holiday facilities for the next 2 years to 2013.

Mr. Siddique protested the “unfortunate” government ban on import of
key poultry vaccines to fight bird-flu and non-payment of compensation
commensurate with the number of culled birds.

In the proposed budget, the finance minister had initially proposed
imposition of a 5 per cent tax on the poultry sector after revenue
officials found abuse of tax benefits by some profitable farms. But
the tax was withdrawn when the parliament passed the Finance Act-2011
on Tuesday [19 Jul 2011]. The government also waived the proposed
turnover tax for poultry farms following a plea by leading farmers.

Bird flu, or H5N1, 1st broke out in the country in 2007 when more
than one million chickens were culled and tens of thousands of small
farms were closed as the flu ravaged the industry for more than 6
months. Officials said the outbreaks this year [2011] are already 3
times higher than the same period last year, prompting the authorities
to announce major bio-security surveillance in the main poultry
farming region.

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