Indonesia has long been criticised for not using well-established methods for eradicating bird flu
, including mass culling and vaccination.
The government’s defense is that it is unable to offer adequate compensation to the millions of backyard poultry farmers who may be affected by mass culling. Similarly, the demographics of the country’s poultry flock make vaccination impractical, it says.
“We are doing the best we can,” said Nyoman Kandun, a senior Health Ministry official.
According to the World Health Organisation’s official count
, there have been 72 cases of bird flu in humans in Indonesia, 55 of which have been fatal. Indonesia has the highest death toll worldwide from the disease.