Tempointeractive, 27 Dec. 2012
Jakarta: The Ministry of Agriculture has confirmed that thousands of chickens that suddenly died last week were contracted with the bird flu virus. However, it cannot be confirmed whether the virus is a new variant of the N5H1 virus or a pre-existing type.
Director of Animal Health at the Directorate General of Livestock and Animal Health, Pujiatmoko, said that test results showed the cause of death of the chickens is bird flu. "The clade or code is not necessarily the same as the one which infected the ducks the other day," he said after a seminar on "Prospects of Agricultural Development 2013", at Tower 165 in Jakarta, yesterday.
Pujiatmoko explained that the chickens which died in Tangerang and Bogor were in the same cage as the ducks that were infected with bird flu. Therefore, the Ministry of Agriculture immediately gave out memos to prevent the virus from spreading.
"We are conducting strict monitoring to secure infected areas. Poultries that are infected must not leave the area in order to be quarantined," he said.
The Ministry, he added, also disinfects poultry cages. Chickens that died suddenly are immediately burned and buried. Other preventions are by prohibiting the mixing of ducks and other birds in one cage to avoid contagion, and by banning the sale of sick birds.
Agriculture Minister Suswono said the ministry will aid farmers whose poultries are dead and are suffering losses. The grant will be taken from the Ministry's 2013 budget.
Chairman of the Indonesian Poultry Entrepreneurs Association, Ade Zulkarnain Meirizal, previously reported that thousands of chickens died suddenly. Dead chickens are found in West Java, Central Java and Yogyakarta. "Mostly in West Java, especially in Sukabumi and Bogor," he said yesterday.
In Bogor, reports of dead chickens surfaced last Thursday, totaling at about 5,500 individuals. In Sukabumi, approximately 2,500 chickens have been dying suddenly since two weeks ago.
Prior to these deaths, the government was preoccupied by the death of hundreds of thousands of ducks in a number of areas due to a new type of avian flu virus.
The Avian influenza or bird flu virus has been an endemic in Indonesia since 2003. The virus - coded Clade 2.1 Sub-Clade 2.1.3, only attacks chickens. But the AI virus that attacks ducks is of a different type, coded Clade 2.3.2, which causes high mortality among ducks.
Data from the Agriculture Ministry shows that, as of December 25, 2012, the number of ducks that died from bird flu has amounted to 147,943. Central Java reported the most death with 76,699 birds. Bird flu also attacks ducks in South Sulawesi, West Sulawesi, Riau, Lampung, Banten, West Java, Yogyakarta, East Java and Central Java.