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Cablegate: Hundreds of Birds Culled in Guangzhou; Correlation to Avian

VZCZCXRO4699
RR RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHGH RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD RUEHVC
DE RUEHGZ #0154 0740657
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 140657Z MAR 08 ZDK
FM AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6971
RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUCNARF/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/DIA WASHDC
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHDC
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
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 000154

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/CM, CA/OCS/ACS/EAP, 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 EAGR PINR KFLU CH
SUBJECT: Hundreds of birds culled in Guangzhou; correlation to avian
flu unknown

1. (U) Summary: Following the unexplained death of over 100 chickens
in the Liwan district of Guangzhou, hundreds more birds have been
culled as a preventive measure to control the spread of what could
be an avian influenza outbreak. With samples currently being tested
in local labs, final results will remain unknown for the next few
days. No humans have tested positive. End Summary.

--------------------------------------------- --
Taking Precautions: Hundreds of Chickens Culled
--------------------------------------------- --

2. (U) On March 13, in stalls 65 and 70 of the Jinhua Meat and
Vegetable Market in Guangzhou's Liwan district, over one hundred
chickens died from unknown causes. Amid fear that the deaths might
be avian influenza-related, the Liwan district party Secretary and
Executive-in-Chief visited the site, and subsequently implemented an
emergency five-fold action plan. First, all stalls were ordered to
be sealed off and to cease sales. Authorities then ordered to that
all market chickens, living or dead, be delivered to a designated
factory for disposal. Third, the market and the neighboring areas
were disinfected, after which a plan to carry out investigations
into the supply source of the dead poultry was implemented. Finally,
samples from market chickens were taken and sent to the Guangzhou
Animal Epidemic Supervision Institute for testing. Results are
expected in three days. Thus far, no humans exposed to the alleged
infection site have tested positive for avian influenza.
Additionally, the Guangdong Agriculture Department has recently
confirmed the tasking of experts to Foshan City to investigate the
reported death of thousands of chickens.

------------------------------
Politics of the Poultry Market
------------------------------

3. (SBU) A worker in one of the affected stalls claims that all of
the vendor's chickens had been vaccinated, and that he was in
possession of the necessary quarantine certificates. He also stated
that it is normal to expect the death of 3 to 4 chickens per batch
of 100 shipped due to poor ventilation in cargo holds. He
speculated that rumors of avian influenza have been fueled by other
vendor's jealously of his ability to sell chickens at lower,
wholesale prices, undercutting their own profits.

GOLDBERG

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