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Home >> Life
UPDATED: 08:05, August 03, 2006
Italy well prepared for bird flu
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Italy is well equipped to deal with bird flu this autumn, Italian News Agency ANSA said on Wednesday.

Italian Health Minister Livia Turco said her ministry has planned its response to cases of birds with the H5N1 virus entering Italy while migrating from northern Asia to warmer climes in Africa, according to ANSA.

These migratory flows are expected to start reaching Italy later this month.

Turco said the Italian authorities have successfully completed three trial runs of responses to bird flu cases in different regions.

"We saw that there is a good level of preparation and effective reactions," she said, adding that no cases of bird flu have been registered here so far this year.

"We are aiming to stop treating the situation as an emergency and start learning to live with a virus that is constantly present in some parts of the planet."

Turco also announced that the government had obtained 45 million euros (about 57.6 million U.S. dollars) in aid for Italian poultry farmers who have been hit by falling sales because of the avian-flu scare.

The Italian Farmers Federation praised the government's handling of the situation.

It also stressed that Italian poultry undergoes rigorous checks and is perfectly safe to eat.

Italian eggs and poultry are good quality too, the federation said, as shown by an 9 percent increase in exports to other European Union countries in the first quarter of 2006.

Source: Xinhua

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