IVO Issues Biosafety Directive on Bird Flu

IVO Issues Biosafety Directive on Bird FluIVO Issues Biosafety Directive on Bird Flu

Following the outbreak of a dangerous strain of avian influenza in seven provinces, Iran Veterinary Organization released a biosafety directive on Tuesday calling on all poultry farm owners to take extra precautionary measures during the remaining cold months of the year.

The statement, comprising 18 items, provides strict protocols on how to keep fowls safe from the H5N8 virus.

It directs all poultry farm owners to prevent farm birds from having any form of contact (through common food, water sources) with outside or wild birds in the area. It also advises them to stop transferring chicken manure (used as organic fertilizer) inside or outside of the facilities.

The IVO has also urged farmers not to take any action regarding diagnosis and treatment of the flu without checking with the IVO network.

Iran has culled hundreds of thousands of birds in recent weeks as avian flu spread across seven provinces, according to local news outlets.

More than 1,000 wild birds, mostly geese, have been found dead in the Mighan Lagoon wetland in Markazi Province, central Iran. Besides Markazi, bird flu has been detected in Alborz, Qom, East Azarbaijan, Kermanshah, Mazandaran and Tehran.

According to IRNA, 63,000 chickens, along with 800,000 fertilized eggs and day-old chicks, were culled at a farm in Qazvin Province in recent days after an outbreak of the deadly H1N8 and H1N5 strains of the disease.

This adds to the 725,000 birds destroyed since mid-November across the country following the outbreaks.

Afghanistan was the latest country to ban the import of chicken and eggs from Iran. Iraq, Azerbaijan Republic and Iraqi Kurdistan banned Iranian import of poultry and related products a week ago.

H5N8 has been reported in at least 20 countries over the past three months. Scientists have raised concerns that bird flu strains could mutate to be transmitted between humans.


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