Industry confident but still on guard
New Zealand's poultry industry is confident that any
outbreak of avian influenza in the country would be identified and contained
quickly, but industry members remain vigilant.
â€œHowever, the extremely strong passive surveillance programmes that we have
in place lead us to believe that avian
would be identified quickly and any outbreak would not be
widespread,â€ he said.
The World Health Organisation reports
that the virus has affected
258 humans across the globe, resulting in 153 human deaths since 2003, mostly
children and young adults.
At the recent Biosecurity Summit in Wellington
, the OIE stated that
Australia and New Zealand â€œare probably the last two countries on earth that
will be vulnerable to the H5N1 strain of avian influenzaâ€.
But Brooks says that New Zealand is still continually reviewing all the
matters that it can control to lessen the risk of H5N1 strain, to protect its
status as a disease-free country.
â€œWe cannot be totally confident, but believe that the industry is in a very
good position to keep avian influenza out,â€ Brooks says.
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