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Cablegate: Avian Influenza Quarantine Lifted; Black Market Birds;

VZCZCXRO6385
RR RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHGH RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHNH RUEHPB
RUEHPOD RUEHVC
DE RUEHGZ #1108 2840505
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 110505Z OCT 07
FM AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6523
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/DIA WASHDC
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC//USDP/ISA/AP//
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHINGTON DC//J2/J3/J5//
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI//J00/J2/J3/J5//
RUEORDA/DIRAFMIC FT DETRICK MD//MA-1A//

UNCLAS GUANGZHOU 001108

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/CM, AIAG, OES/IHA, MED
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR ANE AND GH
CDC FOR OGHA AND DIV-FLU
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE FOR OSD/ISA/AP
HHS PASS TO FIC/NIH
USDA PASS TO APHIS, FAS (OSTA AND OCRA), FSIS
BANGKOK FOR RMO, CDC, USAID
BEIJING FOR HHS HEALTH ATTACHE AND RMO
PHNOM PENH FOR CDC INFLUENZA COORDINATOR
VIENTIANE FOR CDC INFLUENZA COORDINATOR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO AMED AMGT CASC EAGR PINR KFLU CH
SUBJECT: Avian Influenza Quarantine Lifted; Black Market Birds;
Vaccinations in Parks

REF: A. Guangzhou 1048; B. Hong Kong 2443; C. Guangzhou 1070; D.
Guangzhou 1075

1. (U) Summary: Guangzhou's Panyu District Government lifted a
21-day quarantine of the area recently affected by an outbreak of
avian influenza (AI). Before it was lifted, Consulate staff saw a
few farmers illegally selling birds in the quarantine area. Media
reports indicate that the Guangzhou Municipal Government has stepped
up efforts to vaccinate wild birds in parks, zoos, and mountainous
areas most visited by migratory birds. End summary.

-----------------
Quarantine Lifted
-----------------

2. (SBU) Flu antibody samples taken October 7 and 8 from birds in
the area affected by the recent outbreak have come back negative
according to Yu Yedong, Director of the Guangdong Provincial
Veterinary Station of Epidemic Prevention and Supervision. In
response, Panyu District authorities lifted the 21-day quarantine on
October 9. The quarantine had affected 68 poultry and live-animal
(or "wet") markets.

3. (U) After further analysis, the National Avian Influenza
Reference Lab reported on September 24 that the virus sample from
the infection site showed no signs of mutation, and that current
vaccines remain effective. In an effort to explain why the latest
outbreak infected ducks, which are normally only carriers of the
virus, some experts speculated that it was caused by farmers
changing the water in ponds, drawing water from nearby rivers that
may have been contaminated by local chicken farms.

------------------
Black Market Birds
------------------

4. (U) During a visit while the quarantine was still in effect,
stalls in most affected poultry markets were empty and had clearly
been disinfected. However, Consulate staff found a few farmers in
one area market continued to illegally sell poultry, refusing to
identify the origin of the birds. Poultry vendors throughout the
quarantine zone told us that they had not received any subsidies or
aid from government agencies to compensate them for revenue lost
during the quarantine.

----------------------------
Natural Habitat Vaccinations
----------------------------

5. (U) According to media reports, the Guangzhou Municipal
Government has expanded its vaccination program to other bird
habitats, including parks, zoos, and mountainous areas. Wild birds
will be vaccinated in addition to domestic birds and other birds
held in captivity. Officials in these locations must report daily
to the city's Forestry Bureau regarding the welfare of their bird
population. In addition, the government also plans to provide weekly
disinfection of poultry markets and protective clothing for market
staff. In one area park, officials report that they have vaccinated
approximately 5,000 birds. The Guangzhou Zoo currently has a
short-term goal of vaccinating 3,200 birds.

GOLDBERG

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