Azerbaijan, Baku, 31 January /corr. Trend S.Babayeva / The next monitoring (second one in 2008) to reveal 'bird flu' in Azerbaijan will commence on 18 February, said the Head of the State Veterinary Service of the Azerbaijani Agriculture Ministry, Ismayl Hasanov, on 31 January. The monitoring will be continuing by the end of February.
"If suddenly 'bird flu' is discovered in Azerbaijan, the schedule of monitoring may be changed," he said.
The previous monitoring which lasted from 14 to 25 January 2008 confirmed absence of bird flu virus in Azerbaijan. Laboratory analyses were held on the base of blood samples of 1993 domestic birds and 30 pathologic samples.
The monitoring is being held by a special commission including employees of the Veterinary Service, the Health Ministry, the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, and the Hunters' Association.
The monitoring covers the national parks in the Absheron Peninsula, including the coastal line of the Caspian Sea, Davachi, Salyan, Agjabadi and Lankaran regions.
In 2007, the State Service held 12 monitoring exercises, and over 8,000 samples of wild birds and poultry were researched. Bird flu was not found in any of them.
The ban on hunting, use and sale of wild birds in Azerbaijan which was imposed in autumn 2005 still keeps force. All border check-points in the country work with the medium security in order to prevent spread of bird flu in the country.
According to the World Organization for Animal Health, in 2003-2007 bird flu virus was revealed in the poultry farms of 61 countries. According to the World Health Organization, in that period 213 death cases were registered.