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  Bird Flu Outbreak Expected This Winter
  Written By:  (YEMEN POST STAFF)
  Article Date: December 3, 2007


A bird flu outbreak is likely to occur in Yemen during winter, as migratory birds from Europe pass over Yemen to seek warmer climates in Africa and the Middle East said experts at the General Department for Animal Resources GDAR.

According to GDAR general director Ghaleb Al-Eryani, several of the chickens' death were reported by farmers over the past few days. He added that two days ago, a local citizen reported that 8,000 chickens died on his poultry farm which had 10,000 chickens, therefore stressed his worry for a potential outbreak of bird flu, and warned that its resources and capacity are limited.

A report issued last month by the General Authority for Animal Resources in the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, confirmed the current emergence of bird flu and its expansion in nearby areas, come especially from Saudi Arabia. According to the report, Yemen is one of the areas under threat of this disease. It added that it is likely that the disease will spread, taking into consideration that there is vast poultry trading between the two countries, in addition to shared borders.
As a first precautionary measure against bird flu, Yemen has banned imports of poultry products from Saudi Arabia, which recently culled 90,000 birds after the lethal H5N1 strain of bird flu was detected in a poultry farm.

Yemen imports about 60 percent of its poultry products from Saudi Arabia, according to Ghaleb al-Eryani, director-general of the GDAR.


Al-Eryani further added Yemen is involved in the World Bank’s bird flu program. One million dollars was allocated to assist Yemen in preparing precautionary measures. Yemen also received aid from the U.S. to fight bird flu and the risk of infection.“Some 600,000 families that depend on poultry for their livelihood will face big losses,” he added. “They move poultry from farms to markets, and from one governorate to another while they are still alive. Then they distribute them to shops in neighborhoods, where they are sold live,” he added.


On Nov. 18- An official report, issued by the General Authority for Animal Resources in the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, showed that the general authority is unable to implement precautionary program measures to prevent a possible outbreak of these diseases. It also mentioned that the authority is unable to detect initial stages of the epidemics in order to implement control actions.