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Cablegate: Vaccinations and Modernization - Key Components To

VZCZCXRO0127
OO RUEHAST RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD
RUEHTM
DE RUEHHI #0887/01 2130936
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 310936Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8217
INFO RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH 4973
RUEHZS/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 3347
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 5893
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 1484
RUEHGZ/AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU 0904
RUEHCN/AMCONSUL CHENGDU 0367
RUEHIN/AIT TAIPEI 1610
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC//USDP/ISA/AP//
RHMFISS/CJCS WASHINGTON DC//J2/J3/J5//
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC//DHO-3//
RHMFIUU/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI//J00/J2/J3/J5//
RHEFAFM/DIRAFMIC FT DETRICK MD//MA-1A//
RUEHSUN/USUN ROME IT

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 05 HANOI 000887

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MLS, EAP/EP, INR, OES/STC, OES/IHA, MED, OGAC
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR ANE AND GH
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE FOR OSD/ISA/AP (STERN)
HHS/OSSI/DSI PASS TO FIC/NIH (RGLASS) AND OGHA
(WSTIEGER/LVALDEZDMILLER)
USAID FOR ANE (CJENNINGS, MWARD) AND GH (KYAMASHITA, KHILL)
CDC FOR COGH (SBLOUNT), CCID (SREDD) AND DIV-FLU(COX/MOHEN)
USDA PASS TO APHIS, FAS (OSTA AND OCRA), FSIS
BANGKOK FOR RMO, CDC (MMALISON), USAID (MACARTHUR/MBRADY/CBOWES),
APHIS (NCARDENAS), REO (JWALLER)
BEIJING FOR HHS HEALTH ATTACHE (BROSS)
PHNOM PENH FOR CDC INFLUENZA COORDINATOR(BBRADY)
ROME FOR FAO
VIENTIANE FOR CDC INFLUENZA COORDINATOR (ACORWIN)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO AMED EAGR PINR KFLU VM
SUBJECT: VACCINATIONS AND MODERNIZATION - KEY COMPONENTS TO
VIETNAM'S FIGHT AGAINS BIRD FLU

HANOI 00000887 001.2 OF 005

1. (U) Summary: In three southern provinces looking to boost poultry
production, local officials and businesses have focused on the
development of large-scale modern poultry farms and comprehensive
vaccination programs as the keys to avian influenza prevention
efforts. Provincial officials proudly noted no human cases or
animal outbreaks over the past three years. Thai-based
multinational CP Group is working with local partners to create
self-contained chicken and (eventually) duck farms that will reduce
the risks of the spread of avian infuenza. End Summary.

The Poultry Sector in Dong Nai, Binh Duong
and Binh Phuoc Provinces
------------------------------------------

2. (U) Farmers in Dong Nai province, just north of Ho Chi Minh City,
raise five to six million chickens per year. Noting that ducks
appear to be better suited as avian influenza carriers than
chickens, Dong Nai has not promoted duck production, with only a
fairly small (60,000 to 250,000) number of ducks raised in the
province. Dong Nai has focused on large-scale farms with a
relatively small percentage of poultry (less than 20 percent) raised
in backyard farms. Their counterparts in bordering Binh Duong
province raise approximately two million birds per year, of which
1.2 million are raised in commercial farms. Backyard farms remained
a custom for locals and officials doubted their ability to give it
up. Binh Phuoc province along the Cambodian border has about 1.3
million birds, though that number can go as high as two million or
as low as one million. Most birds in Binh Phuoc are raised in
backyard farms or mid-sized open farms with only five self-contained
(or "closed") commercial facilities.

Master Plans for Development of the Poultry Sector
--------------------------------------------- -----

3. (SBU) While Dong Nai already has a thriving commercial poultry
sector, Binh Duong and Binh Phuoc provincial officials stressed
their intention to develop industrial husbandry, made explicit in
the provinces' master plans for poultry raising. Binh Phuoc has set
a target for 2020 of 90 percent of all poultry raised in
self-contained commercial farms. Each province targets foreign
investors, who already control many of the commercial facilities.
Dong Nai's master poultry plan has moved beyond simply promoting
commercial production and contains detailed restrictions on the
locations of commercial farms, while providing investment incentives
to lease land and build infrastructure for commercial farms. Dong
Nai would like to mandate high-tech husbandry techniques, but
worries that few traditional farmers could afford the initial
investments.

Pros and (Few) Cons of Self-Contained Commercial Farms
--------------------------------------------- ---------

4. (SBU) According to provincial officials, large scale, commercial
farms typically had higher awareness of avian influenza, were easier
to monitor and more receptive to technical assistance for avian

HANOI 00000887 002.2 OF 005


influenza protection. The Binh Duong Department of Agriculture and
Rural Development (DARD) noted that the profit motive caused larger
commercial farms to protect their flocks and recognize the
importance of good hygiene. Dong Nai official highlighted better
compliance with biosafety requirements. On the downside, Binh Duong
officials stated that larger, open farms could cause environmental
problems, particularly if sited near residential areas (Note: Binh
Phuoc officials thought that commercial farms had no downside).
Dong Nai officials stated that while modern, self-contained farms
provide the best protection against the spread of avian influenza,
their price tag, roughly one billion Dong (approximately USD 60,000)
for facilities that can handle 10,000 poultry at a time, may be too
expensive for many poultry farmers.

Vaccinations a Key Part of Anti-Avian Influenza Efforts
--------------------------------------------- ----------

5. (SBU) Authorities in each province enthusiastically supported the
animal vaccination program, which they viewed as key to the effort
to contain avian influenza, particularly among small backyard flocks
still common in their jurisdictions. Dong Nai animal health
officials stated that the province would continue animal
vaccinations regardless of central government backing. Each
province implements biannual vaccination programs (on slightly
different timetables) that cover the large majority of poultry.
Binh Duong animal health officials estimated that the vaccination
program covered approximately 90 percent of poultry raised in the
province. Unlike Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc only managed to vaccinate
about 60 percent of its chickens each year and officials noted
difficulties reaching some of the smaller backyard flocks. Dong Nai
officials generally noted high vaccination rates, but did not
provide specific figures. In each province, the central government
funds the vaccinations (using a Chinese vaccine) for backyard
flocks, while commercial farms must pay for their vaccinations
(observed by local Department of Animal Health (DAH) officials).
The provinces pay the salaries of the vaccinators from their DAHs
and typically purchase much of the necessary equipment. Each
province claims to monitor the effectiveness of vaccinations (Dong
Nai estimated about 80 percent success, while Binh Phuoc stated
about 60 percent). Dong Nai, which appeared to have the best
organized strategy, stated that it would order revaccinations if it
detected antibodies in less than 70 percent of vaccinated birds.

Other Strategies
----------------

6. (U) Our interlocutors emphasized other measures that they had
taken to minimize the avian influenza threat. Each noted public
awareness campaigns, particularly targeted at those who raised small
backyard flocks, along with strong links to district and commune
authorities. Each emphasized that the Vice-Chair of the Provincial
People's Committee chaired the provincial avian influenza steering
committee, with deputy chairs from the Departments of Health and the
Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development. They also noted
regional efforts among bordering provinces. For example, thirteen
southern provinces surrounding Ho Chi Minh City, led by Region six

HANOI 00000887 003.2 OF 005


of the Vietnam Department of Animal Health, had signed a cooperative
agreement on transportation control, information sharing and
notification in case of any outbreaks. Local officials also
emphasized their attempts to eliminate free-range flocks - even
among backyard farmers -- and ensure that all flocks were located in
rural areas, outside the heavily populated cities.

The New Breed: Visits to Self-Contained Chicken Farms
--------------------------------------------- --------

7. (SBU) Visits to two commercial chicken farms showed modern
facilities and biosecurity practices designed to protect chickens
from avian influenza. CP Group, the giant Thai conglomerate funding
these sites, also is piloting a large-scale duck farm and hopes to
develop similar modern facilities for duck raising in Vietnam in the
near future. As part of this plan, CP hopes to finance the
construction of 1,000 commercial farms - some modern, closed
facilities and other, smaller and open facilities, designed to raise
poultry for the domestic market. However, before commencing this
major expansion, CP wants to ensure that Vietnam maintains its
strong avian influenza prevention programs.

8. (SBU) In 2007, following consultation with local DAH officials,
the Thuy Tao Cooling Chicken farm in Binh Phuoc province was sited
in the middle of a rubber plantation, in order to better protect the
environment and possible exposure to or spread of avian influenza.
Costing 35 billion Dong (approximately USD 2.1 million), the farm
can raise nearly 200,000 chickens per year. The owner plans to open
a 200 billion Dong (approximately USD 12 million) facility nearby in
2010 that will be five times larger. The Mai Dinh Phon chicken farm
in Dong Nai, constructed in 2006, raises 180,000 chickens per
generation. In both cases, the local Vietnamese owners signed an
agreement with CP Group, under which CP sends chicks recently
hatched in an industrial zone in Bien Hoa to be raised for 45 days
prior to shipment to a CP processing facility for slaughtering. To
prevent the risk of disease transmission, the facilities accept one
generation of equal aged chicks at a time. CP pays for, provides
and performs vaccinations for all chickens prior to arrival at the
facility and during the breeding period, using the Trovac vaccine
imported from the United States. CP also provides feed, marketing,
and the modern imported equipment used to limit human exposure to
the poultry. The facility owners pay off a portion of their debt
with the sale of each generation of chickens.

9. (SBU) The facilities depend upon modern, automated feeding and
cooling systems to limit human-chicken exposure and maintain strict
hygiene standards for staff that may come into contact with the
birds. To minimize outside exposure, the Binh Phuoc facility
requires staff to remain on the facility grounds for the entire 45
day life-cycle of a generation of chicks, while the Dong Nai
facility allows workers to leave the facility only on Sundays.
Workers take frequent decontamination showers, wear sanitary
coverings if they enter chicken houses, change shoes for every third
visit and must change clothes when entering the facilities, which
are surrounded by barbed-wire topped 10 foot walls. Chickens
receive food and water through an automated system controlled

HANOI 00000887 004.2 OF 005


outside their coops. At both facilities, air enters the coops only
through cooling systems that are cleaned every day to eliminate
bacteria. The facilities use German technology to dry chicken
waste, which they collect and sell to a fertilizer company. The
Dong Nai facility maintains a three week buffer between generations
of chickens during which it follows a detailed and stringent
cleaning and decontamination procedure for the coops, feeding and
water troughs.

Ducks Not on the Pond: Can Modern Duck Farms Succeed?
--------------------------------------------- --------

10. (SBU) The CP-sponsored 150 million Dong (approximately USD
9,000) pilot duck farm in Binh Duong province may provide new tools
for the Vietnamese poultry sector's efforts to control avian
influenza in the duck population. Traditionally, Vietnamese duck
breeders have focused on raising smaller, free-range flocks in
waterways or flooded rice fields. However, exposure to other duck
flocks and wild birds increased the odds of spreading avian
influenza. The CP duck farm, again located in a rural area far from
human population centers or other breeding sites, was designed to
minimize exposure to other birds. The duck farm keeps up to 3,000
ducks in each of two houses for a seven week period after hatching.
Unlike free range ducks, these birds do not have access to a body of
water and CP is studying the overall health of the ducks raised in
containment before fully committing to a modern, self-contained
facility, like those already in service for chickens. CP hopes that
a self-contained duck farm would, like those for chickens, eliminate
exposure to avian influenza and other diseases through minimal
contact with humans and other birds, together with strong monitoring
and complete vaccinations. At the facility, ducks receive two
series of vaccinations, at 14 days and at 35 days, administered by
CP with observers from the provincial Department of Animal Health.
According to CP, to date, the six month old facility has had
success, with a low death rate and high average bird weight for the
first generation.

Comment
-------

11. (SBU) Self-contained, modern facilities, possibly combined with
continued, well-organized vaccination programs, may form the basis
for long-term efforts to control avian influenza. Certainly, local
authorities feel that way. Indeed, commercial operations with
strong bio-security practices should limit exposure to the disease
and are a necessary upgrade to Vietnam's poultry-raising practices.
A well-maintained and -monitored poultry husbandry system may limit
the need for continued, costly vaccinations. However, these pricey
facilities are beyond the means of most Vietnamese chicken farmers,
particularly those who raise small backyard flocks for the family
table or small-scale trading. And, we find it likely that some
commercial operations do not follow CP's model hygiene practices.
Self-contained facilities may be a large part of the solution - but
figuring out the exact equation will take some time.

12. (U) This cable was coordinated with Consulate General Ho Chi

HANOI 00000887 005.2 OF 005


Minh City.

MICHALAK

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