Vietnam tackles latest avian flu outbreak

The H5N6 strain of avian flu, which recently reappeared in Vietnam, could easily spread to more birds and even humans, vice head of the Veterinary Department under the health ministry Dam Xuan Thanh warned at a meeting on August 26.

Earlier this month, veterinary authorities reported three new outbreaks of the highly pathogenic H5N6 bird flu in the provinces of Ha Tinh, Lang Son and Lao Cai, likely due to smuggling or wild bird migration.

However, Thanh said the A/H5N1 vaccine was proven to be effective for the A/H5N6 virus and that the country had sufficient supplies in case an epidemic occurred.

He called on local authorities nationwide to increase supervision, take samples for testing and carry out good hygiene practices.

Currently, about 50 provinces and cities have their own plans to prevent and control cattle and poultry disease.

Poultry smuggling

Market watch officials in the northern province of Lang Son said illegal poultry trafficking was on the rise in the border province.

In the first ten days of this month, market watch officials from the province's Loc Binh District uncovered six smuggling cases and destroyed 4,000 illegally imported birds.

Dinh Van Hung, head of Market Watch 2, said his unit discovered more than 30 cases of poultry smuggling in the past month and destroyed more than 7,300 breeding birds and ducklings and four tonnes of poultry.

In Cao Loc District, authorities found more than ten cases of poultry smuggling in the past month. On some days, they caught more than 10,000 breeding ducklings.

The Police Unit on Fighting Environmental Crimes of Lang Son Province uncovered more than 50 cases of poultry smuggling and destroyed more than 143,000 breeding birds and more than 6,200 kg of animal innards.