FARIS MOKHTAR Today Online 9 Mar 17;
SINGAPORE — Poultry and poultry products that Singapore imports from Malaysia are safe for consumption, the authorities here assured the public, following news of a bird flu outbreak in the Malaysian state of Kelantan. Existing measures will be stepped up to prevent the H5N1 virus from entering Singapore, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said on Thursday (March 9).
Poultry and eggs from Kelantan are not an approved source here, said the AVA, and Singapore allows import of poultry and eggs only from disease-free zones found in five Malaysian states, namely Johor, Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Selangor and Perak.
Singapore imports about 35 per cent of chicken and 93 per cent of ducks from Malaysia. Other sources include Brazil and the United States. For eggs, 76 per cent of the supply comes from Malaysia, while farms here provide the rest. Last year, the Republic imported 48.8 million chickens in all.
The AVA added that it will work closely with Malaysia’s Department of Veterinary Services to ensure that its imported poultry and eggs do not compromise public health.
Existing measures will also be stepped up, including deploying more officers — from two to three — to conduct checks on poultry imports entering through the Tuas Checkpoint. The AVA will also conduct daily checks on all 14 poultry slaughterhouses here.
Every consignment of imported live poultry is accompanied by an import permit and a veterinary health certificate from Malaysian authorities, which includes details like the farm name, farm code and quantity of poultry. Consignments are imported in crates and each crate is labelled with the farm name, farm code and date of export.
"At the point of import, AVA inspectors will verify that the consignment is from an approved farm. Consignments are also inspected to ensure animal health is safeguarded," the AVA said in response to queries.
Poultry farms in Singapore have been advised to disallow non-essential visits from the public, as well as to ensure that their bird-proofing measures are in place to keep out wild birds.
Singapore's poultry, egg supply unaffected by Kelantan bird flu outbreak: AVA
Channel NewsAsia 9 Mar 17;
SINGAPORE: The current outbreak of bird flu in Kelantan does not have any impact on Singapore's poultry and egg supply as Singapore does not allow the products to be imported from Kelantan, said the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) on Thursday (Mar 9).
Poultry and poultry products in Singapore are safe for consumption, said AVA in a media release.
It added that Kelantan is not an approved source for poultry and eggs, and that Singapore allows the import of poultry and eggs only from the disease-free zones in Malaysia - Johor, Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Selangor and Perak.
AVA added that it will continue to work closely with Malaysia's Department of Veterinary Services to ensure that the poultry and eggs imported do not compromise public or animal health.
The authority added that Singapore has stepped up its existing measures against bird flu in response to the Kelantan outbreak.
Surveillance and inspections at the points of entry have been increased, and local poultry farms have been asked to beef up their biosecurity measures. These include disallowing non-essential visits to the farms, as well as ensuring that their "bird-proofing" measures are intact, AVA said.
It added that while Singapore is free from bird flu, AVA will continue to monitor the situation and work with stakeholders to prevent the virus from spreading to Singapore.
Earlier on Thursday, Malaysia reported that the outbreak in Kelantan has been contained and that the virus had not spread to humans.
KEEPING BIRD FLU OUT OF SINGAPORE
Singapore imports about 35 per cent of its chicken and 93 per cent of its ducks from Malaysia, said AVA, adding that 76 per cent of its eggs come from Malaysia and local farms account for the remaining 24 per cent of its egg supply.
AVA noted that while Singapore is free from bird flu, it is endemic in the region.
Existing measures against the virus include source accreditation, import control, routine inspection and surveillance at points of entry, local farms, poultry slaughterhouses and pet shops, AVA said.
There are also regular checks on migratory birds as well as common ones such as crows, mynas and pigeons, and free-roaming chickens are also monitored.
Bird flu outbreak in Kelantan contained, no known human infections: Minister
Melissa Goh Channel NewsAsia 9 Mar 17;
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's health minister on Thursday (Mar 9) said that the outbreak of the highly contagious H5N1 bird flu virus in the country was contained in the northern tip of Kelantan and that there was no report that it had spread to human beings.
"It is still limited to poultry stock and within the area affected, there is no report it has spread to other places," Dr S Subramaniam said.
The strain of avian flu was confirmed among chickens at a backyard farm in Kelantan, according to a report by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) on Wednesday.
More than a thousand poultry birds have been culled within a 2km radius of the affected areas.
The H5N1 strain - which is different from the H7N9 virus that has killed at least 110 people in China this winter - has also been detected in Cambodia in recent weeks.
As a precaution to ensure the containment of the virus' spread, the health minister urged the veterinary service department to tighten checks at borders with Thailand.
Meanwhile, Singapore has stepped up its existing measures against bird flu in response to the outbreak.
Its Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said on Thursday that the outbreak did not have any impact on Singapore's poultry and egg supply as Kelantan is not an approved source for the country.
FARIS MOKHTAR Today Online 9 Mar 17;