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TURKEY: Culling all rural poultry not necessary - FAO expert says

by 5m Editor
20 January 2006, at 12:00am

TURKEY - A massive cull of rural poultry in Turkey following recent outbreaks of avian flu in the country is not deemed necessary, according to an expert from the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

TURKEY: Culling all rural poultry not necessary - FAO expert says - TURKEY - A massive cull of rural poultry in Turkey following recent outbreaks of avian flu in the country is not deemed necessary, according to an expert from the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

"A complete cull of all rural poultry in the country is not necessary and we were very vocal about this when I was there [in Turkey]," Juan Lubroth, senior officer of FAO's Animal Production and Health Division (APHD), said from the FAO's headquarters in Rome on Thursday just a few days after a mission to the country.

"To go through the whole countryside and eliminate all rural poultry, we think is not scientifically sound and also logistically quite difficult to accomplish," Lubroth maintained.

"We do think that culling and humane culling is important when we have an active outbreak [in a particular area] and we are able to make epidemiological links with neighbouring farms, or neighbouring villages, or marketplaces that may have contact with the outbreak," the UN official added.

On Tuesday, the Turkish government reported that around 1 million rural fowl had been culled in the affected areas of the country.

But Turkish media had also broadcast some examples of culling on the ground, in which domestic birds were buried or put to fire alive, highlighting the issue of appropriate and humane methods of culling.

"To do humane culling and proper disposal of the carcasses is essential to be able to decrease the environmental contamination, or perhaps even the contact with humans and particularly children," Lubroth said, adding that the people involved in culling should be trained to do it in a humane fashion along with environmentally sound disposal.

Lubroth's comments came one day after an international conference, co-hosted by the World Bank, along with China and the European Union (EU), wrapped up in Beijing.

The forum aimed at raising more than a billion dollars to fight a possible bird flu pandemic - particularly amongst developing countries in Asia.

Nations attending the bird flu meeting in the Chinese capital reportedly pledged US $1.9 billion to fight the disease, exceeding earlier expectations set by the World Bank.

At the start of the conference, the World Bank said at least $1.2 billion was needed over the next three years to avert a possible pandemic.

Source: Reuters - 20th January 2006

5m Editor