Chinese poultry smuggling raises bird flu risk in Vietnam

Thanh Nien News

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A Vietnamese farmer hold his ducklings while it gets vaccinated against bird flu. Photo: An Lac A Vietnamese farmer hold his ducklings while it gets vaccinated against bird flu. Photo: An Lac

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The bird flu virus strain that killed at least one man in China last year has spread widely through northern and central Vietnam due to rampant poultry smuggling.
Tuoi Tre newspaper reported that the Animal Health Department has detected H5N6 in fowl in the northern provinces of Phu Tho and Bac Giang, and the central provinces of Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam and Quang Ngai.
The strain’s genetic structure is 99 percent similar to the H5N6 strain that killed a man in China last May.
Vietnamese authorities detected the virus for the first time in August of last year at Lang Son Province along the Chinese border and Ha Tinh Province in central Vietnam.
Border guards said poultry smuggling along the Chinese border has fallen, but still persists.
An officer said it costs only 20 US cents a kilogram to hire people to carry cargo across the border.
But porters tend to raise their prices four-fold whenever inspectors turn up the heat, the officer said.

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