Bird flu threat: Brunei halts poultry imports from Sabah

|     Danial Norjidi     |

AS A precautionary measure against the entry of bird flu into Brunei Darussalam, the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood has announced a temporary ban on imports of live poultry, chicks, ducklings, fertilised eggs, fresh eggs, chicken meat and chicken feed in to the country from Sabah, Malaysia.

According to the department, the decision to freeze imports was taken following an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), which was confirmed to have occurred in the Tuaran District of Sabah on August 3 through the Department of Veterinary Services of Sabah.

In a press statement, the department explained that the HPAI is a type of zoonotic disease that can infect not only poultry but also humans.

It was shared that the bird flu epidemic can lead to bad implications for the poultry industry in this country and that the spread rate of this disease is very high and can cause “up to 100 per cent” death of poultry.

Members of the Tuaran and Kota Kinabalu Veterinary Departments preparing for the destruction of poultry in a chicken farm in Tuaran following the spread of bird flu in the area. – BERNAMA

This temporary freeze is being enforced immediately until a date that will be announced later.

The withdrawal of the temporary freeze is subject to confirmation of being free of the bird flu by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). However, imports from Sarawak in Malaysia and Kalimantan in Indonesia are unaffected.

Commercial importers are also advised to get supplies for the above commodities from other exporting countries that have a status of being free from avian flu.

In this regard, as a precautionary measure the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism advised the public to cooperate and not to carry animals or livestock goods to the country without permission from the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood.

The press statement added that members of the public are also advised to watch out for smuggling activities, particularly of live poultry, chicks, ducks, fertilised eggs, fresh eggs, chicken meat and chicken feed in the country, in together dealing with the entry of avian flu into the country.