Belize is the only country in the region to have successfully eradicated the avian influenza virus reports the Belize Agriculture and Health Authority, BAHA. In a release today BAHA informs that quarantine and other control measures implemented in the Cayo District following the detection of low pathogenic avian influenza H5N2 in January 2015 have been lifted. The area is declared free of avian influenza after three months of work that has cost the government and the poultry industry over six million dollars.
The government collaborated with OIRSA and Mexico which provided technical assistance as well as resources to help control the outbreak. Government also worked very closely with the Belize Poultry Association and poultry producers. Authorities are still emphasizing the need for vigilance as the virus can be reintroduced into the country and there is a high threat of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus being introduced by migratory wild birds from North America. Measures are still in place to control this as the movement of live poultry other than a day old chicks remain restricted until further notice. According to the release, quote, “BAHA, in close collaboration with the private sector is managing identified risks by implementing enhanced regulations for poultry establishments and the movement of live poultry and poultry litter,” unquote. Poultry farmers are encouraged to maintain their biosecurity measures and notify BAHA of any high mortality or unusual occurrence in their flocks. The last case was detected on the 5 June 2015 and depopulation and decontamination were completed by the 9 June 2015. BAHA assures that poultry meat and eggs are safe for human consumption.
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