Indonesia estimates global bird flu losses at US$2 billion

04-12-2006 | |

An Indonesian official has said that the world’s poultry industry suffered around US$2 billion in losses from September 2005 to September 2006, owing to the bird flu epidemic.

“The global poultry industry has suffered direct losses of 2 billion dollars due to lower prices. This is equal to 14 percent of the total value of world trade,” National Avian Influenza Control Commission chairman Bayu Krisnamurthi was quoted as saying in The Jakarta Post.
Bayu estimated that indirect losses were 1.7 times the value of the direct losses – totaling US$3.4 billion.
He said that in Indonesia alone, the poultry industry had suffered 1.1 trillion rupiah (about 120.2 million US dollars) in losses due to bird flu.
He said that indirect losses in Indonesia were based on lower incomes for farmers, decreased nutrition as people stop eating poultry meat, and decreased tourism.
“Because the tourism industry is highly dependent on public perceptions, erroneous perceptions about bird flu have resulted in people being nervous about visiting places where they think there is bird flu,” he said.
The World Health Organisation reports that Indonesia has the highest number of human deaths from bird flu, at 57, from a total of 74 human cases.