|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
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
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 and Thailand.
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.