Epizootic Situation in Azerbaijan Stable – Azerbaijani Chief Vet

Epizootic Situation in   Azerbaijan Stable – Azerbaijani Chief Vet

Azerbaijan, Baku / Trend , corr S.Babayeva /

Trend's interview with Head of the State Veterinary Service of the Azerbaijan Agriculture Ministry Ismayil Hasanov Trend's interview with Head of the State Veterinary Service of the Azerbaijan Agriculture Ministry Ismayil Hasanov

Question: How do you estimate the work that has taken place in Azerbaijan in the fight against 'bird flu'?

Answer: Fighting against 'bird flu' in Azerbaijan is an important measure for the state veterinary service. It was commenced in Azerbaijan in August 2005. In accordance to the requirements and recommendations by the International Epizootic Bureau, import of poultry from countries where 'bird flu' has been detected, have been terminated. The Veterinary Control within the borders has intensified their regime. Moreover, the State Commission to Prevent 'Bird Flu' and co-ordination of joint activities of all organizations in the sphere was established by the relevant presidential decree. In its turn, the State Commission established a monitoring group, which is in operation at present.

Since August 2006 blood samples were taken from 20,000 wild birds and poultry for analysis, and the results were negative. Though we are satisfied with all work done in our struggle against 'bird flu', we are not reassured and are committed to being more attentive. Many citizens do not understand that it is very dangerous to keep poultry in the open air, where they can be in direct contact with wild birds. Hunting and eating of wild birds is not allowed, as they could be carriers of 'bird flu'. People should therefore fully observe the bans and rules. Since August 2006 blood samples were taken from 20,000 wild birds and poultry for analysis, and the results were negative. Though we are satisfied with all work done in our struggle against 'bird flu', we are not reassured and are committed to being more attentive. Many citizens do not understand that it is very dangerous to keep poultry in the open air, where they can be in direct contact with wild birds. Hunting and eating of wild birds is not allowed, as they could be carriers of 'bird flu'. People should therefore fully observe the bans and rules.

Question: When will the danger of 'bird flu' can subside in Azerbaijan?

Answer: The danger linked with 'bird flu' will last to the end of March. Experiences from last year also testifies this. In 2006 the disease was found in Banovshalar village of Agdam District on 18 March. After that no case with the carriers of 'bird flu' was found amongst poultry or birds of passage. I can cite an official announcement by the Ministry of Ecology that birds of passage do not migrate to Azerbaijan from the north after March. Therefore, the danger begins to wane from March. One knows birds of passage are the major carriers of 'bird flu'. Unless there is a migration of birds of passage will be very low.

- H5N1 virus exists in Azerbaijan's neighboring countries - Turkey and Russia. The danger seems to be too close. What intensive measures does the State Vet Service take in this respect?

'Immediately after the registration of H5N1 virus in Russia and Turkey, Azerbaijan temporarily ceased the import of live chickens and poultry, meat, forage, as well as cargo under veterinary control with respect to prevent the penetration of infection diseases. The ban will be lifted only after the stabilization of the epizootic situation in these countries.

Question: What international organizations do you co-operate with in the fight against 'bird flu' and how effective are they?

Answer: We closely co-operate with the international epizootic bureau, the World Health Organization FAO and the state veterinary services of many countries not only in the sphere of 'bird flu', but also in fighting against other infectious diseases. At present the epizootic situation in the country with respect to bird flu stable and is under control.

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