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Australia prepares for possible bird flu outbreak
www.chinaview.cn 2005-11-27 19:21:41

    CANBERRA, Nov. 27 (Xinhuanet) -- Australian Agriculture Minister Peter McGauran and Health Minister Tony Abbott said on Sunday that next week's national exercise is an important component of Australia's preparedness on a possible outbreak of bird flu.

    The exercise, which will involve some 1,000 people from the federal and state governments, agriculture and health departments and the agriculture industry, will be conducted from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1.

    McGauran said the exercise would employ a hypothetical scenarioto test how well agriculture and health departments could work with industry to identify, contain and eradicate an animal disease outbreak.

    "This is an opportunity to identify areas where we can continue to improve our emergency response systems," he said in a statement.

    "The exercise has generated huge interest from overseas and Australia stands ready to share what we learn from the simulation with all countries," he said.

    Abbott said in a statement that the exercise is an opportunity to test Australia's emergency response plans because the exercise scenario includes hypothetical cases of people contracting avian influenza.

    He said the Australian government has committed more than 300 million Australian dollars (220 million US dollars) to pandemic preparedness. Enditem

    

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