Vietnam to lift ban on raising ducks

VIETNAM - Vietnam will soon lift an official ban on raising ducks because no outbreaks of bird flu in poultry have been reported since December, an agriculture ministry official said Monday.

A similar ban on chickens was lifted in February, but ducks remained officially off limits because they can carry the virus without showing symptoms. The ban, imposed last year, was supposed to extend through February 2007. However, many farmers ignored the government restrictions and continued to raise poultry.

"Hopefully, farmers can resume raising and restocking ducks by the end of July," said Nguyen Dang Vang, director of the ministry's Breeding Department.

Vang said farmers must raise their ducks in fenced areas and not allow them to roam freely in rice fields, a common practice in the southern Mekong Delta. Farmers will also be required to disinfect their farms once a week, he said.

A vaccination program continued despite the loose ban, and more than 130 million poultry have been vaccinated this year, including nearly 35 million ducks.

Source: China Post
calendar icon 10 July 2006
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