- Hello, Jeff - The following were among the topics
sent to me via email. Disturbing to say the least. Now, the University
of Hawaii is going to receive Avian Flu virus for experiments. Think of
all the places that H5N1 was sent. The genie is out of the bottle. I
am sure bird flu will mutate one way or another and cause a pandemic...either
in nature or by some lab mishap like we almost saw happen in Texas.
- As for Viet Nam, the virus is "raging" there
and I don't think it will be eradicated there any time soon.
- Age-Old Duck Farming Practice Spreads Bird
- Virus Rages In Southern Vietnam
- VINH THUAN, Vietnam (AP)
-- About 1,400 Pekin ducks waddle inside four long cages within the vessel
that serves as a taxi for thousands of waterfowl ferried to feed on leftover
grains in newly harvested rice fields across Vietnam's southern Mekong
Delta. The story explains it's an age-old practice that has always benefited
the area's duck farmers and crops that has been outlawed for helping fan
bird flu across eight provinces in one month.
- The story story says that the government last week banned
the movement of all ducks after the H5N1 virus resurfaced last month following
a year-long lull, and that any birds caught in transit can be seized and
destroyed, whether they're vaccinated or not.
- Ngo Hong Hanh, 57, standing barefoot on the riverbank
near his boatload of noisy ducks, was quoted as saying, "I've been
roaming my ducks around for more than 30 years. I don't think I can abandon
this practice, because it is my main income."
- Hanh loads his flock onto boats three or four times a
year and travels to vacant fields littered with grains of rice left amid
the dry stubble of recently cut stalks. For a small fee, the ducks forage
for a month and a half before going home, ridding the fields of unwanted
pests and saving Hanh about US$1,500 (¤1,150) in feed costs.
- Dinh Cong Than, director of Kien Giang's provincial animal
health department, was quoted as saying, "If we can successfully prevent
ducks from roaming from one place to another, we can stop the spread of
the virus. Our government policy is to change this practice, but I don't
think you can do it overnight."
- The story notes that authorities have set up road and
water checkpoints to try to stop poultry from coming in from outside provinces.
Four boatloads of about 5,400 ducks have been intercepted by night patrols
in Vinh Thuan, but officials say it's not easy to scour the muddy web of
canals and rivers that snake across the country's rice basket.
- International experts say it might not be necessary to
stop the Mekong practice that has worked so well for generations, as long
as the ducks are closely monitored and vaccinated against the H5N1 virus.
- Dr. Jeff Gilbert, an animal health expert at the U.N.
Food and Agriculture Organization in Hanoi, was quoted as saying, "It's
a nice little ecosystem, a good farming practice, but because of its risk
with respect to (avian influenza), then it does have to be reviewed and
it would be higher risk."
- Patricia A. Doyle DVM, PhD
- Bus Admin, Tropical Agricultural Economics
- Univ of West Indies
- Please visit my "Emerging Diseases" message
- Also my new website:
- Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa
- Go with God and in Good Health