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#503530 - 04/21/15 05:34 AM Thousands of chickens slaughtered in the West  
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And while shrimps are dying in the South, chickens are being slaughtered in the West. In January of this year, the Belize Agricultural Health Authority, BAHA, sent out notice to the general public that they had confirmed a type of disease called Avian Influenza in a couple of farms in the Spanish Lookout community. This type of disease is a low pathogenic disease that is not killing the birds, but the virus has the capacity to evolve into a highly pathogenic disease if not controlled. In January, BAHA confirmed the disease in at least two farms, however that number grew to about 15 farms in the Spanish lookout community. As a result, BAHA, as recently as this week, began the mass slaughtering of live poultry in Spanish Lookout. BAHA’s Director of Animal Health, Dr. Miguel De Paz, gave us an update on that undertaking.

Dr. Miguel Depaz – Director of Animal Health, BAHAvlcsnap-2015-04-20-11h19m35s103

‘They are implementing all the measures to control and irradiate this disease. They are many to take in which to irradiate the disease. At  this time, BAHA, the Government of Belize has opted to do de-population because of the limited number of  known infected farms.  Should the situation change, then the strategy will also change which might include the vaccination of birds rather than depopulating,  but we are yet to arrive at that position… that option.”

Emmanuel Pech – Plus TV Reporter

“At this point, can you say how many are eliminated and how many more are expected to be?”

Dr. Miguel Depaz

“An estimated number would be around sixty thousand. An estimated sixty thousand from an estimated fifteen known infected farms.”

BAHA will be conducting another survey on the remaining poultry in Spanish lookout, which will then determine if they will continue to eliminate more birds or switch to less extreme measures like vaccination, though not entirely effective. Authorities believe however, that they are at a stage where the disease has been contained.

Dr. Miguel Depazvlcsnap-2015-04-20-11h42m47s198

“At the start, we had six check points. We have reduced the six check points to four because we believe it has been contained in the Spanish Lookout community. We have movement control. The risk of spreading the disease is through wild birds and through the movement of live poultry. We know we have it in Spanish Lookout, so it’s a no -no to move out live poultry out of Spanish Lookout. However, the one day old chicks can move out of Spanish Lookout because the one day old chicks will not have the virus. The virus does not get transmitted vertically. In other words, a new born chick will not have the virus. So the only live  bird  moves out of the community is the day old chick.”

BAHA, also reiterated that processed chicken and eggs are safe for human consumption.


#503556 - 04/21/15 12:47 PM Re: Thousands of chickens slaughtered in the West [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Sep 2010
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Wizardofaahs Offline
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Are we irradiating the disease or iradicating the disease? That is a lot of birds to xray.....

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#503575 - 04/22/15 05:25 AM Re: Thousands of chickens slaughtered in the West [Re: Marty]  
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Adding Up The Cost and Consequence of Avian Influenza

In January, we told you that BAHA and the Ministry of Agriculture detected avian influenza at 2 poultry farms in the Spanish Lookout Community. A few days later, the Ministry updated the public that about 12,000 birds tested positive.

Well, tonight, we've confirmed that after 3 rounds of testing, the public health officials have discovered approximately 75,000 birds with the virus. 60,000 of that infected population has been destroyed to try to contain the virus which can spread from infected poultry to you if it is consumed. You don't have to be alarmed and stop buying poultry, however. The stocks on the shelves are safe for consumption.

What is being affected is the next round of poultry stocks which would have hit the shelves in the next few months. But, the threat has been contained, for now, because BAHA and the Agricultural Ministry have stepped in to take action. And what does that mean exactly? Well, we went to Spanish Lookout today, and we got a chance to speak with several of the poultry farmers whose birds were infected with avian influenza.

Up until a few weeks ago, this barn used to house approximately 2,000 chickens. It is now empty because BAHA had to eradicate those birds due to avian influenza. It is now under a biohazard warning to all persons to exercise extreme caution when approaching.

That farmer gave us permission to shoot his barn, but couldn't speak with us because his poultry association has designated spokespersons. One other farmer, whose farm was affected in the same way told us he lost a sizeable investment. Another farmer's wife told us that her family lost about $300,000 dollars. CEO in the Ministry of Agriculture Jose Alpuche revealed on Plus TV's Rise and Shine Morning show today that his Ministry has had to destroy a total investment of 3 Million dollars:

Jose Alpuche, CEO - Ministry of Agriculture
"In early January we, through routine surveillance, avian influenza was detected in Spanish Lookout. It's a flu, it's a virus. It can spread fairly easily. The strain of virus that was found is what is called zoonotic - that it can transmit from animals to human and also too it can mutate. What we have right now is called low pathogenic avian influenza, which means that the birds are sick, but you don't see a whole lot of clinical signs. It's not like when you have a highly pathogenic outbreak and the birds start dying off literally within hours. So, it's a low pathogenic outbreak, but of a zoonotic disease. Two things we have to be very careful of; one, that we don't give it a chance to mutate to highly pathogenic strain and two, that is does not transfer. So, the immediate exercise has been to try to contain the virus. We've had infections with a very tight zone within Spanish Lookout. We also too detected the virus in a village called Buena Vista, which is just outside. Buena Vista, the local back yard hens were all depopulated. The community agree with BAHA to undertake voluntary depopulation. I must say, I empathized, I even sympathized with them for the economic loss. Because they probably loss about 3 million dollars at least so far. So, it's a heavy impact, but they recognized that we absolutely need to get the virus/outbreak under control. We've done two rounds to testing, the third round of testing started last week. The idea is that through continuous testing, especially in the hot zone, we are trying to get to day zero. The day when we don't find any infection."

Today, we found BAHA Officers on high alert, checking all motorists leaving the Spanish Lookout Community with poultry products. The state officials are trying to stay on top of this public health issue, and so more infected birds will be slaughtered:

Jose Alpuche, CEO - Ministry of Agriculture
"Whithin Spanish Lookout, we've already depopulated I believe its 12 farms. We have I think 4 more slated for depopulation. It will end up being with these two rounds or depopulation, about 75,000 birds."

We stress that the chicken currently in stock at your corner shop are not infected with influenza. There are also the majority of poultry farmers in Western and Northern Belize which are not affected by the avian influenza outbreak. But, in the long run, how will this 3 million dollar investment loss affect the market? Will this drive up the price of chicken until the poultry industry regularizes? The Agricultural Ministry CEO was asked this question this morning, and here's how he answered:

"Are there some compensation for these farmers who lose their birds?"

Jose Alpuche, CEO - Ministry of Agriculture
"Unfortunately no. Within the system we don't have compensation."

Pastor Louis Wade, Plus TV
"So the follow question then will be, because money will come from somewhere. Money will go somewhere. If they have lost up to 3 million dollars, will that speak to some kind of increase per pound in sale in the short term or something to that effect?"

Jose Alpuche, CEO - Ministry of Agriculture
"We have not have that discussion as yet. To be very honest, I think yes it's an issue that more than likely we will have to discuss in the future. But at the moment all minds are focused on containment."

As we told you, the farmers affected by this outbreak told us today that only designated representatives of the Association, Orlando "Landy" Habet, and the Chairman, can speak. They are both out of the country.

Channel 7

#503595 - 04/22/15 08:57 AM Re: Thousands of chickens slaughtered in the West [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Nov 2000
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ScubaLdy Offline
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I wonder if they got a second opinion?

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#503823 - 04/30/15 05:14 AM Re: Thousands of chickens slaughtered in the West [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 52,978
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Poultry Industry’s Continued Crisis

A week ago, we told you about the difficult situation facing poultry farmers of Spanish Lookout who had to kill off 60,000 of their birds which were infected with avian influenza. They agreed to basically dump 3 million dollars’ worth of investment out of an abundance of caution because they agreed that the general public shouldn’t be exposed to a potential public health risk.

Well, that action has put a financial hurting on those farmers, and while we were in Spanish Lookout, we approached several farmers to speak with us about the difficulties of that decision to comply. They all directed us to the designated spokesperson, Orlando Habet, who up until a few days ago, was out of the country. Well, we finally got an opportunity to speak with Habet today at the PUP’s Petrocaribe protest, and he described to us the farmers’ perspective of this crisis they are trying to recover from:

Orlando Habet – Spokesperson, Belize Poultry Association

“A little over 60,000 birds have been depopulated, and if were only the broilers, which are the meat birds, it wouldn’t be too bad. The problem is that half of those are breeders, which are the birds that lay the egg that go to the hatchery, to produce those chicks that will grow into the birds for the meat that we eat. It has affected the industry severely. It has in the past two weeks, apparently, been slowing down because we do not have many new flocks that have turned out to be positive (for the virus). However, the industry has lost over 3 million dollars, as you have mentioned. And in any given situation, in Spanish Lookout alone, if in a six-weeks cycle, there is a potential for a loss of over 6 million dollars if all the birds were depopulated in a 6 weeks cycle. We anticipate that because the Government has taken the decision along with the industry, that there will be no vaccination, at least up to now, that the option that has been chosen is the depopulation, so that those birds do not reach the market at all, and neither do the eggs. We can see that there is a there is a potential problem with supply, if we do not get the other producers in the north to speed up their protection, then Spanish Lookout will not be ale to supply their customers, possibly in the near future. There is the possibility of the requirement for some importation, but we are trying to move away from that as soon as possible.”

Daniel Ortiz

Will that affect the price in the medium term that people pay for pounds per poultry?”

Orlando Habet

“Up to now it hasn’t, but there is no way of telling. Hopefully it doesn’t, however, from the industry side, it hasn’t gone up. We don’t know and cannot control what happens at the supermarket level.”

The action has reportedly yielded results, which are welcomed by the farmers, since the spread of the virus is contained for now.

Channel 7

#507344 - 09/09/15 11:59 AM Re: Thousands of chickens slaughtered in the West [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 52,978
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(Joint Release from MNRA, BAHA, Ministry of Health and the Belize Poultry Association) Avian Influenza Infected Area in the Cayo District Regains Free Status

Belmopan. September 9, 2015. BAHA will today lift quarantine and other control measures implemented in the Cayo District following the detection of low pathogenic avian influenza H5N2 in January 2015. The last case was detected on the 5 June 2015 and depopulation and decontamination were completed by the 9 June 2015. In compliance with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) international standard, BAHA can declare the area once again free of avian influenza three months after decontamination. Quarantine control measures and the direct losses borne by the producers in the infected area have cost government and the poultry industry over BZ$6 million.

The successful eradication of this avian influenza disease outbreak was possible because of government’s immediate and strong intervention. BAHA worked in close partnership with the Belize Poultry Association and the poultry producers in eliminating this grave threat to the sector. Both OIRSA and Mexico provided technical assistance as well as resources to help control the outbreak. It must be noted that Belize is the only country in the region to have successfully eradicated the avian influenza virus.

Though the event is closed, vigilance needs to be maintained as re-introduction is possible anywhere in the country and there exists a high threat of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus being introduced by migratory wild birds from North America. The movement of live poultry other than a day old chicks remain restricted until further notice. BAHA, in close collaboration with the private sector is managing identified risks by implementing enhanced regulations for poultry establishments and the movement of live poultry and poultry litter.

Poultry farmers across the country whether commercial or backyard, are encouraged to maintain their biosecurity measures and to notify BAHA of any high mortality or unusual occurrence in their flocks.

BAHA wishes to reassure the public that poultry meat and eggs are safe for human consumption.

Enquiries can be made by contacting Dr. Miguel DePaz, BAHA’s chief Veterinary officer, at helpline number 605-2100 and Dr. Victor Gongora of Belize Poultry Association at 824-3221.

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