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Country remains vigilant against bird flu

posted on 09/03/2007: 1643 views

The emirate is prepared to deal with any bird flu outbreak, authorities said yesterday, adding that cooperation between the emirates is increasingly important in dealing with the issue.

Majid Al Mansouri, spokesman of the National Committee for Emergency Response to Bird Flu and Secretary-General of the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD), and Dr Mohammad Saeed Al Kindi, Minister of Environment and Water, spoke to the press after a secretariat meeting, attended by representatives from the various emirates.

"We follow up with all concerned parties on a daily basis and entry points ... are being monitored," said Al Kindi.

"We have enforced stricter laws at all entry points, even with buses carrying cargo. All members of the bird flu committee submit test results on a daily basis, and report on any cases of dead or confiscated birds."

The official said all free-roaming birds must be put in enclosures, and that the law applies to all emirates. "Emirates other than Abu Dhabi were not implementing the law before, but it is now mandatory for everybody," said Al Kindi.

Al Mansouri explained that there was no reason for concern about bird flu in the UAE, and that the meeting was put together to address the issue following the outbreak of the H5N1 bird flu virus in Kuwait.

"I hope all people are aware and careful about bird flu as it is a national responsibility.

"The outbreak in Kuwait happened because of one selfish person who brought back falcons from hunting, so cooperation is the only way we can keep the virus from entering the UAE," said Al Mansouri. (Gulf News)


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