Malaysia declared free from bird flu 2007-09-10 19:51:04   Print

    KUALA LUMPUR, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Malaysia on Monday was declared free from avian influenza or bird flu after the last attack in a village of Selangor state.

    Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, in announcing this, said surveillance and laboratory tests conducted in the last three months had fulfilled the conditions set by the Office International des Epizooties (OIE) or the World Organization for Animal Health, and showed that the country was now free of the H5N1 virus.

    The final report on the matter was sent to the OIE on Sunday, he said.

    "The prompt action by the Veterinary Services Department to stamp out the bird flu outbreak according to the protocol had been affective," he told reporters at his office in Putrajaya, the administrative center of Malaysia.

    "We had conveyed the matter to the OIE which gave the green light for Malaysia to be declared free from the disease," the national news agency Bernama quoted Muhyiddin as saying.

    The government managed to rid the disease at the end of 2005 and in mid-2006, but on June 5 it was detected to have re-emerged when 67 chickens owned by a villager suddenly died.

    A total of 4,226 chickens, ducks and other birds were culled due to the outbreak, incurring 39,939 ringgit (11,411 U.S. dollars) in compensation paid out to the livestock owners, Muhyiddin said.

    The government was still undertaking preventive measures against bird flu which was still happening in some neighboring countries, he said.

    The measures include prohibiting the import of chickens, ducks and other birds and related raw products from the affected countries, intensifying checks at the border checkpoints and continued monitoring throughout the country.

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Editor: Lu Hui
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