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Cablegate: Turkey: Update On Avian Influenza

VZCZCXRO7368
RR RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD
DE RUEHAK #0190 0321502
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 011502Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5103
INFO RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC
RUEHVI/AMEMBASSY VIENNA 1688
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 6698
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 2662
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 3825
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHDC
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1578
RUEHZN/EST COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS ANKARA 000190

SIPDIS

STATE ALSO FOR STUDZINSKI AND LANGE
USAID FOR TROSTLE, BLANCHET AND CARROLL
HHS FOR WSTEIGER/PBUDASHEWITZ
FAS FOR OCRA; OSTA
FAS PASS FSIS AND APHIS
VIENNA FOR APHIS
BRUSSELS FOR APHIS/FERNANDEZ
GENEVA FOR HEALTH ATTACHE
ROME FOR US MISSION TO FAO

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958:N/A
TAGS: KFLU ETRD EAGR KPAO TBIO AMED CASC EAID SENV TU
SUBJECT: TURKEY: UPDATE ON AVIAN INFLUENZA

REF: ANKARA 147 AND PREVIOUS

1. There have been no new outbreaks since the small one reported in
Zonguldak province on January 19th; however, the incubation period
is not over.

2. According to a representative of the European UnionQs (EU)
Technical Assistance team in Turkey, the Turkish Ministry of
AgricultureQs General Directorate of Protection and Control
(MARA/GDPC) requested that the EU team visit the affected village to
investigate the AI outbreak. The EU team determined that the source
of the outbreak was a farmer who went hunting and brought the
carcasses of seven wild birds to his home. He cleaned the birds and
threw the remains (feathers, etc.) in his backyard. The chickens in
his backyard ate the scraps and got infected with the virus.
3. The EU team took samples from wild birds in the area; the Turkish
government stamped out all poultry in a total of five villages and
disinfected the area; and, according to the EU team, the GDPCQs
level of preparedness is good and the control measures are adequate.
However, the team noted that the two-day delay between the first
observation of symptoms and the application of control measures
should not have occurred.
4. The EU rep stated that there are still additional areas for
improvement, mainly in containment and biosecurity measures among
backyard poultry owners and veterinary services. In its report, the
EU team recommended close collaboration with hunting associations to
reduce the risk of AI from wild birds.
5. A post-outbreak survey is scheduled one month after the area is
considered free of active infection. Then, samples will be taken
from the vicinity before re-stocking the backyard population.

6. Comment: Public reaction to the outbreak has been negligible and
sales of commercial poultry unaffected. This can be considered a
result of effective public education. It appears that MARAQs open
and transparent response has contributed to public confidence and
responsible media reaction. On the technical front, Embassy Ag
Office has worked very closely with USDA/APHIS to coordinate and
sponsor several AI training opportunities in other countries for
Turkish veterinarians in the last two years. Embassy Ag Office is
actively collaborating with USDA/APHIS to plan two training sessions
in Turkey that will take place next month: a diagnostic lab course
in Ankara and in Izmir, and an epidemiological course in Ankara.
USDA will collaborate with the EU team on the epidemiological
training course.

7. According to the EU teamQs report, GDPC is planning to compensate
the farmers for the culled backyard poultry from the World Bank
fund.

8. Azerbaijan and Iraq have banned poultry and poultry product
imports from Turkey as a result of the AI outbreak. According to our
trade contacts, the ban is currently not affecting transshipments of
U.S. poultry and products through the Mersin Free Trade Zone.

Wilson

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