Backyard farmers reluctant to end lives of birds in prime

JAKARTA - Backyard farmers gave mixed responses Tuesday to the city administration's call for them to slaughter their birds to stop the spread of bird flu.
calendar icon 17 January 2007
clock icon 2 minute read
Most refused, arguing they had kept birds for years and never suffered ill health. Others reluctantly agreed to carry out the task.

The city administration has urged residents who keep chickens, ducks and pigeons in their backyards to to get rid of them in the wake of the outbreak of the disease that has killed four residents this year.

Asmar, who lives in Kemandoran Pluis, West Jakarta, is one of those who insist on hanging on to their birds.

"I will not obey if the authorities order us to kill the birds. There has never been a problem with their health," said the man who owns a number of chickens and various other birds.

"The officials must examine the birds first, by checking the saliva and feces for instance. If they are infected with the HN51 virus, then it is OK to slaughter them."

He said he would not kill birds without proof they were sick.

"I've been taking care of them for more than 10 years. I breed chickens to provide food for my family."

He added that he regularly cleaned the birds' cages by spraying them with disinfectant.

Source: The Jakarta Post
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