Indonesia plans to ban backyard poultry

Jakarta is preparing to ban backyard poultry farming in a renewed effort to fight bird flu, after the feared disease killed four people last week.

The fatalities raised Indonesia's death toll from the virus to 61—the highest in the world. The vast majority of bird flu cases have occurred after contact with infected poultry.
"This is already a situation of health emergency, and we hope that the protection of humans will be much better if birds and humans are separated," said Aburizal Bakrie, the coordinating minister for people's welfare. He spoke after a meeting between ministers and the heads of the Jakarta, West Java and Banten regions, which have been worst-hit by the H5N1 virus.
Health Minister, Siti Fadillah Supari, said most of Indonesia's victims had had contact with poultry around the house rather than birds from commercial farms. Indonesia's efforts to curb the spread of bird flu have been hampered by the reluctance of some poultry owners, especially backyard farmers, to hand over their sick or potentially infected birds for slaughter.
"In principle, there should be no birds in residential areas," the minister said, adding that regulations banning backyard poultry will be introduced in the three worst-hit regions.

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