APEC should better manage cross-border poultry transport
Amid bird flu outbreaks in
many parts of the world, members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
should better deal with movement of fowls and livestock across borders, a FAO
official HE Changchui said in Da Nang City.
Countries and regions should strengthen coordination, cooperation and
dialogue at government level, as well as raise public awareness about the risk
of bird flu spreading.
It is very hard to root out cross-border
smuggling of livestock and fowls due to market factors, Changchui said, noting
that APEC economies should focus on enhancing public awareness of their
residents about the issue, and encouraging "safe trade in accordance with
According to the FAO, over 200 million
fowls have been culled in bird flu-hit countries and regions so far. Meanwhile,
total loss caused to regional and international trade in poultry has been
estimated at US$10-15 billion, including $1.2 billion in Thailand, the world's
4th biggest fowl exporter, $200 million in Vietnam and $170 million in
US administration officials have said they, too, worry
about the bird flu arriving through the estimated $10 billion US global trade in
wild animals, pets and animal parts. Hundreds of federal agents from several
government agencies are policing borders, ports, airports and other
Wild bird experts say the virus appears to be spreading along
trade routes. They point to Africa's first cases of bird flu, which were
discovered at a farm in Nigeria in February.
Most of these outbreaks
have not been directly related to the migration of birds. Between China and
Vietnam for example, daily an estimated 4,500 chickens are smuggled across the
The H5N1 virus has shown up in samples taken from some of the
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