Indonesia: Bird flu rates rise again

Liza YosephineLiza Yosephine The Jakarta Post 31 Jul 16;

Indonesia has detected a sharp rise in bird flu cases in July since the country’s last report of an unexpected climb earlier this year, bringing the total number of the cases so far in 2016 to 188.

"The number of bird flu cases has risen in seven consecutive months since January, with the highest number of cases recorded in April, which is quite alarming. It subsequently fell from May to June, only to rise again this month," Agriculture Ministry official Muhammad Azhar said on Friday.

He made the comments when explaining the results of the government's monitoring of bird flu trend in 2016 to the audience at a poultry health and production seminar in Jakarta.

Azhar said as many as 92,014 poultry had died as a result of the bird flu virus in the last seven months. Most of them were ducks and layer poultry, which made up almost 60 percent of the total number. The remainder were quails, free-range village chicken (or ayam kampung) and broilers, he added.

Data show that the three provinces with the highest number of the cases are West Java with 65 in total, Lampung with 28 and South Sulawesi with 23 cases.

Azhar said the highest number of poultry deaths nationwide was recorded in March with 48,066 deaths, followed by 15,581 in February.

The following months saw vast improvements, with the number of poultry deaths declining to 9,860 in April and to 558 in June. However, the rates rose by more than tenfold in July, with 6,550 cases recorded, Azhar said.

Azhar noted that the rainy season, which occurred throughout the first few months of the year, might have contributed to the death of the birds, which might have been vulnerable given poor farm conditions and sanitation.

He further said that monitoring by the ministry’s officials had revealed that many farms failed to implement biosecurity measures, a framework in quality maintenance of farm and poultry products developed in collaboration with the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) more than a decade ago, after the virus was first detected in Indonesia. (ebf)

App-based monitoring system to help prevent spread of bird flu
Liza YosephineLiza Yosephine The Jakarta Post 31 Jul 16;

Farmers across the nation with small and medium-sized businesses have been urged to improve monitoring of their livestock through use of digital technology, as Indonesia continues to record more bird flu cases.

The Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) representative office in Indonesia on Friday launched an online system, "Petelur.ID", in collaboration with the Indonesian Association of Poultry Veterinarians (ADHPI) and developers Intelligence Dynamics.

The app, which is free to use and download, aims to improve farmers' capacity while at the same time addressing rising cases of bird flu, FAO officials say.

"I believe that the use of this tool will assist farmers greatly in managing their farms, in tracking poultry health and disease and also the productivity of their layer flocks," James McGrane, Team Leader FAO Emergency Center for Transboundary Diseases (ECTAD) Indonesia, told reporters on Friday at the launch of the app.

McGrane said the functions available on the app were based on recommendations from a study conducted on the effectiveness of biosecurity interventions in order to improve productivity and the control of diseases, including highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).

FAO-ECTAD national technical adviser, Erny Setiawan, said the tool would continue to be developed and could eventually become a platform for communication among farmers to share best practice and to boost communication between farmers and poultry health experts at ADHPI.

Intelligence Dynamics CEO, Dios Kurniawan revealed that the idea for the project was initiated three months ago. Data from the Agriculture Ministry reveal that the number of bird flu cases continued to rise in the first four months of the year, with 49 cases in April alone. The trend showed improvement throughout May and June, before suddenly spiking again in July.

In total, 188 cases have been recorded in 2016 so far, with as many as 92,014 poultry dying from the virus, consisting mostly of ducks and layer poultry. (ebf)