ROME, Nov. 29 (Xinhuanet) -- The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Tuesday warned that culls of wild birds in urban areas in countries affected by bird flu were ineffective measures to contain the disease.
The warning followed reports that wild birds were being killed in Ho Chi Minh City in Viet Nam as a precautionary measure.
"This is unlikely to make any significant contribution to the protection of humans against avian influenza, " said Juan Lubroth, FAO senior officer responsible for infectious animal diseases.
"Wild bird species found in and around cities are different from the wetland waterfowl that have been identified as carriers of the avian influenza virus," he said.
"There are other, much more important measures to be considered that deserve priority attention. Fighting the disease in poultry must remain the main focus of attention," he said.
A series of measures to fight bird flu outbreaks were recommended by FAO, along with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
These include improving veterinary services, emergency preparedness plans and control campaigns such as culling of infected animals, vaccination and compensation for farmers. Strengthening early detection and rapid response systems for animal and human influenza were also cited as effective measures along with building and strengthening laboratory capacity; support and training for the investigation of animal and human cases and planning and testing rapid containment activities. Enditem