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Indonesia to mass cull birds

Indonesia has started testing thousands of chickens and will slaughter all birds living in the vicinity of the infection.

india Updated: Feb 21, 2006 12:12 IST

TheIndonesian government has started testing thousands of chickens for any signs of infection and will slaughter all birds living within one kilometre of any outbreak.

Officials will pay the equivalent of US $1 for each chicken they kill, Head of Jakarta's Animal Husbandry Department Edi Sutiarto said.

The three-day campaign will be the first such program carried out in Jakarta, and it remains unclear whether owners of healthy chickens will give up their birds despite the compensation offer.

"The people must be prepared to give up their birds," said Sutiarto. "We must act together because of the threat." He said a team of 600 people, including city officials, volunteers and veterinary students, will carry out the testing and culling.

Most of Indonesia's 19 bird flu victims lived in Jakarta. The H5N1 virus has devastated poultry stocks and killed at least 92 people, mostly in Asia, since 2003, according to the World Health Organisation.

First Published: Feb 21, 2006 08:47 IST