Yemen's poultry business loses one million dollars per day
Yemen's poultry industry is losing roughly US
$1 million a day due to the H5N1 avian flu, according to officials at the
Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, who say this figure could reach as high
as $5 million if the problem goes unchecked.
Even though Yemen is officially free of the disease, many citizens have
abstained from eating chicken or eggs due to frenzied reports of bird-flu
epidemics elsewhere in the region. People are afraid.
Ghalib al-Eryani, director of the government-run Animal Resources Department,
his department had received numerous requests from poultry sellers for
compensation for lost business.
While addressing the Consultative
Council late last month, Minister of Health Abdulkareem Ras'e suggested that
poultry owners be compensated with US $1 per chicken culled in the event of the
bird flu's appearance. The local poultry sector produces approximately 100
million chickens annually.
The Yemenite government had already
prepared an emergency plan, say officials. "We set up an operation room last
October to undertake preventive measures and prepare a national anti-bird flu
plan," said al-Eryani.
"We're keeping a ban in place on poultry
imports from countries hit by avian influenza and have also begun field serology
surveillance and collected 1,781 specimens which have all tested
Al-Eryani went on to cite additional precautionary
measures, such as bird-flu specific training for health workers and the
establishment of vast slaughterhouses wherein birds can be culled en masse
according to health standards.
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