The Vietnamese government has called for more efforts in the fight against bird flu, mainly by strengthening vaccination and tightening management over poultry egg hatcheries, local newspaper People's Army reported Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung asked relevant ministries, agencies and localities to conduct vaccination against bird flu viruses among poultry, especially waterfowls more properly, and to keep on mobilizing all sources to effectively prevent the disease from spreading.
If bird flu breaks out in a certain area, from hamlet to province or city level, the head of the local authorities should take responsibility for the outbreak, the prime minister said. He advised local poultry raisers to breed fewer fowls in the time of outbreaks.
He also asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, in coordination with scientists and localities, to make veterinary requirements for hatching waterfowl eggs stricter. If egg hatcheries do not meet the requirements, they should be closed.
Bird flu virus strain H5N1 is now found in more fowls than last year, according to tests by the agriculture ministry's Central Animal Health Diagnosis Center. Out of 1,043 samples from live poultry in seven cities and provinces in June, 54 or 5.2 percent of the total carried H5N1. Out of 4,800 samples taken in four localities in 2006, only 10 or 0.2 percent contained the virus.
After inspecting 15 poultry markets in seven northern localities, the center found that fowls traded in 10 markets carry H5N1. Samples taken from poultry in the northern border province of Lang Son also contain the virus.
Bird flu, starting to strike Vietnam in December 2003, has hit 18 localities since early May.