North Sulawesi Distributes Bird Flu Vaccine

INDONESIA - The North Sulawesi provincial administration has distributed thousands of ampules of vaccines against avain influenza among poultry breeders in an effort to prevent the spread of the disease.
calendar icon 15 August 2008
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The announcement was made by a local official and reported by Antara News.

The distribution was focused on poultry breeders but the purpose was also to protect the entire community, the head of the North Sulawesi agriculture and animal husbandry office, Herry Rotinsulu, said on 14 August.

But the volume of vaccines distributed was not enough as according to official data, North Sulawesi had a chicken population of two million, Mr Rotinsulu said. Therefore, the provincial poultry industry's need for vaccines would be met in stages and the distribution would be done every year, he added.

Meanwhile, the provincial administration would continue to ask for additional supplies of vaccines from the central government through the agriculture ministry, he added.

Poultry breeders are also expected to maintain the required sanitary conditions of their animals through biosecurity measures such as the spraying of disinfectants in all their poultry coops.

Thousands of chickens died suddenly in 2008 in North Sulawesi because of the spread of Newcastle disease (locally known as tetelo) which was considered as a possible precursor of bird flu, according to Antara News.

Earlier, in 2006, people in the province were shocked by the sudden death of hundreds of chickens in Rumoong Bawah village, South Minahasa district (90 kilometres south of Manado). An examination conducted by the Veterinary Center in Maros, Makassar, South Sulawesi, on specimens from Rumoong Bawah proved that the chickens were infected with the bird flu virus.

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