Cablegate: Avian Influenza Situation Update in Turkey

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.





E.O. 12958:N/A
SUBJECT: Avian Influenza Situation Update in Turkey

Ref: (A) Ankara 5119
(B) Ankara 6105
(C) Ankara 6138
(D) Ankara 6232

Sensitive but unclassified. Not for Internet Distribution.

1. Summary. Although there have been several suspicious
cases of bird deaths in the Western and Eastern regions of
the country, there have been no new outbreaks of Avian
Influenza in Turkey. The Government plans to lift the
quarantine restrictions in the AI affected zone by the end
of the month if there are no new confirmed AI outbreaks in
the quarantined area. End summary.

No New Outbreaks

2. (U) Since the outbreak was first announced on October 9
there have been no new incidents in Turkey. In addition,
there have been no reports of human deaths or illness due to
the outbreak.

--------------------------------------------- -------
Dead Pigeons in Istanbul.Dead Chicken Scam in Pathos
--------------------------------------------- -------

3. (U) There have been several reports of bird deaths in
various regions of Turkey including Istanbul and eastern
Turkey. However, thus far, none of these birds have tested
positive for Avian Influenza (AI). There was a report last
week that about a dozen pigeons were found dead in Istanbul.
Lab results determined that the pigeons were free of AI.

4. (SBU) This weekend reports circulated that about 1000
chickens had died in the eastern part of Turkey and that the
government had culled another 5000 birds. However, contacts
at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs clarified
that a Turkish poultry trader who had purchased 2,200
chickens in the Western part of Turkey and was transporting
them to sell them in the East because of his inability to
sell the birds. This trader claimed that 1,000 birds died
upon arriving to the Eastern region of Patnos. Government
officials do not believe that these deaths resulted from AI
case, but rather may have been the trader's attempt to
receive compensation money from the government, which is
higher than the current market price. Nevertheless,
government officials buried the dead animals and put a
quarantine area around the burial site. In addition,
samples were sent to the lab to test for AI. Lab results
are still pending.

Future Government Action

5. (SBU) The Government of Turkey (GOT) has indicated that
it plans to lift the quarantine in western area of
Baliksehir, the site of the first outbreak, at the end of
October as long as no new outbreaks occur. Should any new
hen new outbreaks occur, the GOT would take similar
precautions as it did for the first outbreak.

6. (SBU) According to the GOT and the Industry, the
government has already reimbursed farmers for birds that had
to be destroyed. This was good news for the farmers as they
did not suffer any financial losses. Reports of this quick
compensation from the government will hopefully encourage
other breeders or farmers to inform the authorities
immediately of any future outbreaks. However, if the
government does not continue or is unable to continue
compensating farmers at such a rapid pace or at an
acceptable price, farmers may be reluctant to report future
outbreaks. That could create a very dangerous situation in
Turkey since many private breeders and small farms depend on
their small flocks for their livelihood.

© Scoop Media

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