November 20, 2008

No bird flu in Thailand, but officials remain on high alert in northern provinces


There is no bird flu in Thailand, but officials are on high alert in the northern provinces of Thailand as colder weather could facilitate the spread of the virus.


Deputy Director-General Trisadee Chaosuanchareon of the Department of Livestock Development, trying to downplay public concerns regarding the virus, said the situation was under control.


However, as a precaution, he said, preventative measures in the upper part of the country were stepped up while local authorities were assigned to tighten control over the unauthorised movement of chickens and ducks.


Mr. Trisadee admitted that the department was worried about the bird flu situation in the northern provinces as the country was entering the winter and the temperature in the northern region was lower than other regions. The cold weather could boost the spread of the virus, he said.


Meanwhile, the department found that the illegal transfer of poultry, particularly of fighting cocks, was widespread.


Consequently he ordered local officials to tighten control on poultry movements, especially in Lampang as the province is located in the middle of northern Thailand which is the route for poultry movement to the central region of the country.


The livestock official also affirmed that there is no bird flu in the country, but that government agencies are prepared to respond if the virus is detected.


He advised the public to continue consuming poultry and egg but that such foods should always be cooked appropriately.

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