Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Malaysia declared free of H5N1

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) gave Malaysia the green-light to declare the nation once again free of H5N1 after an outbreak among domestic poultry in early June 2007. Malaysia was also declared free from H5N1 in June 2006. This outbreak, the first in nearly a year, resulted in the culling of more than 4,200 chickens near the country's commercial capital, Kuala Lumpur.

The OIE requires that a country experience no new outbreaks of H5N1 for three consecutive months after the last culling and disinfection campaigns before it can be considered free of the disease.

"Almost 80,000 birds were culled since the first bird flu case was detected in 2004. The government has so far spent almost RM10 million in compensation to the affected poultry rearers."

Malaysia has already begun to reap the benefits of this new declaration as poultry exports have started to resume, albeit slowly.



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