SINGAPORE, Feb. 6 (Xinhuanet) -- Singapore will kill all its 2.1 million chickens immediately if the deadly bird flu virus strikes any of its seven poultry farms, said Singapore's National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan on Friday.
The government will not wait for laboratory results, which usually take five to seven days, to confirm that the virus is the H5N1 strain before starting culling, Mah added.
If avian influenza is detected in poultry imported from Malaysia, Singapore's largest supplier of live chicken, "import will cease immediately and all birds imported on that day will be slaughtered and safely disposed of," the minister said.
Singapore has banned imports of chicken from bird flu affected countries in the wake of the outbreak of the potentially lethal pandemic in the region.
The city-state has stepped up checks on imports of live chicken from Malaysia -- 120,000 birds or so everyday - as well as at its own poultry farms.
It has set up a Ministerial Committee for Avian Influenza to oversee contingency plans for prevention of the disease. Enditem