|July 21, 2005,
as reported by just-food.com: In a change in
policy Indonesian farmers will now have to cull all their
chickens if bird flu is detected on their farms.
The change, which was announced after Indonesian confirmed
its first three human deaths from bird flu, is part
of effort to halt the spread of the virus, the country's
agriculture minister said Thursday, according to the
Guardian newspaper’s website.
The Indonesian government has up until now culled only
sick birds not entire flocks.
"We can't take any risks now," Anton Apriyantono,
the agriculture minister, said. Mr Apriyantono added
that all farmers would be compensated for losses arising
from the mass slaughter.
The first humans to die from bird flu in Indonesia
were a father and his two young daughters, who lived
in a suburb of Jakarta. Tests confirmed they were infected
with the H5N1 virus, Siti Fadilah Supari, the Indonesian
health minister, said.
The virus has also been identified in frozen duck meat
- intended for human consumption - that was shipped
from China to Japan in 2003.
A recent study by a team of Japanese researchers found
a form of H5N1 was discovered in duck exported from
the Shandong province to Japan two years ago.
However, the study, published in the online journal
Virology, concluded that the strain of the virus identified
in the meat was slightly different to the H5N1 type
found in humans.
The World Health Organisation confirmed this was not
the first time the virus had been found in processed
meat, but said it posed no risk to consumers as long
as precautions - such as washing hands and surfaces
frequently - were taken.
The three deaths in Indonesia earlier this month mean
at least 57 people have now died from the disease, with
fatalities also having been recorded in Vietnam, Cambodia
However, the father and his daughters did not keep
chickens, raising the possibility that the virus has
mutated and can now be passed from one human to another.