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Stray chickens to be culled across UAE

posted on 22/02/2006: 1442 views



Municipalities across the country have been told to confiscate and cull all free roaming chickens and consider closing live poultry shops, a senior official said yesterday.



Majid Al Mansouri, spokesman of the National Committee for Emergency Response to Bird Flu and secretary-general of the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi, said the UAE has also banned imports of poultry and poultry products from Egypt and India after the two countries reported an outbreak of bird flu.



Al Mansouri said: "The committee, comprising representatives from the Interior and Health ministries, the armed forces, municipalities, customs, environment agencies and other departments, has revised the national contingency plan to highlight each party's role during the various phases of implementation, including in the worst case scenario.



"It is expected to be approved within two weeks by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and head of the committee, before being presented to the Cabinet for final approval. "The plan includes full mobilisation of the army and police personnel. It will also deploy helicopters if the need arises. Two mobile incinerators at Dh2.5 million ordered to serve all the emirates are expected to be set up within four to six weeks.



"The Education Ministry has assigned eight schools, which will be used as quarantine areas so that infected people will not have to be transported through heavily populated areas. These areas will soon be increased to 11."



Each emirate will have a main Emergency Crisis Operations Room in addition to a similar room already operating at the secretariat. Several committees and operations rooms have been established to receive information on suspected cases of bird flu and act swiftly.



An alert system, which will react to suspected cases, has been set up at the secretariat with systems used worldwide in the wake of threats from terrorism, disease outbreaks and predictable natural disasters. Under the plan if a positive case of the virus is discovered, the area within a 10km radius will be declared an infected zone for at least 30 days. (Gulf News)

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