|March 17, 2004, just-food.com:
Thailand has announced another human fatality attributed
to bird flu. The news comes a week after the Thai government announced
its country was free of the virus. In addition to another human case,
four provinces also reported chickens testing positive for bird flu.
The government has sense recanted their disease-free status and an
agriculture ministry official said all poultry within a 1km-radius
of each new outbreak is to be culled, reported Dow Jones News.
So far eight people have died from the disease in Thailand and
15 have died in Vietnam bringing the total to 23 deaths attributed
to bird flu in Asia. More than 100 million birds have been culled
across Asia in a bid to stop the spread of the disease.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization has warned countries not
to restock poultry flocks or resume poultry trade until they are
completely clear from the virus.
China has said it has had no new reports of bird flu among poultry
for 29 days, but warned further outbreaks could occur once migratory
birds begin their journey north, reported Reuters.
Japan meanwhile has introduced new tougher penalties for farmers
who fail to report evidence of bird flu among their flocks. The
decision follows accusations that a farmer in western Japan covered
up the deaths of thousands of infected chickens at his farm.