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Cablegate: The Same Czech Co-Op Hit by Avian Flu Again

VZCZCXRO1071
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHPG #0797 1831334
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 021334Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY PRAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9323
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHDC
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHDC

UNCLAS PRAGUE 000797

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/NCE, G/AIAG

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KFLU KSTH WHO MARR MASS CASA TBIO EZ

SUBJECT: THE SAME CZECH CO-OP HIT BY AVIAN FLU AGAIN

REF: A. PRAGUE 370

B. PRAGUE 756

1. Summary: Within a week after the first outbreak of avian flu
occurred on June 21 at a turkey farm in Tisova, Czech Republic (ref
A), a chicken farm at nearby Norin belonging to the same
agricultural cooperative was affected by the deadly H5N1 virus.
Vets discovered the virus in nine out of 60 chickens while carrying
out routine check-up on poultry earmarked for slaughter house. All
28,000 chickens at Norin, which is four kilometers away from Tisova,
were destroyed along with poultry kept by local villagers. As a
standard operating procedure, the region has implemented strict
veterinary and sanitary measures, decontaminated the affected farm,
established three kilometer protection and 10 kilometer surveillance
zones, and all animals within the zones have been inspected. State
Veterinary Administration confirmed July 2 that those laboratory
results were negative. There are some 350,000 poultry within the 10
kilometer zone. If no new outbreaks occur, the extraordinary
measures will be abolished after 30 days (July 27). End Summary.

2. Contrary to the previous situation with turkeys at Tisova, no
litter is used for chickens, so veterinary experts have ruled out
contaminated straw stacks as the source of infection. They are also
ruling out the possibility that the chickens caught the virus
directly from birds at large since no dead, infected birds have been
found in the region. Experts believe it was probably a farm worker
bringing the infection in on his/her shoes or clothes or on the
vehicle tires from Tisova prior the introduction of sanitary
measures.

3. As an immediate consequence of the latest outbreak, extraordinary
measures entered into force June 28 for the whole country. By June
30, all poultry farms must keep their birds under the roof. Poultry
markets, exhibitions and competitions previously announced were
allowed to take place over the weekend but from now on veterinary
administration permits will be required not only for domestic events
but also for participation in similar events abroad. Vets will be
particularly strict in risky regions (the Pardubice Region where the
two farms are located and in the South Moravian Region where a swan
was found dead of the avian flu virus on June 25). Regional
veterinary administrations all over the country were tasked with
checking on poultry farms in their jurisdiction.

4. Comment: The outbreak of avian flu in two poultry farms in the
Czech Republic in June, however unfortunate, has demonstrated that
Czech authorities are prepared to cope with the situation, with
appropriate sanitation and decontamination measures implemented.
Post will monitor the situation closely, particularly during the
30-day window, and provide additional information as they arise.

GRABER

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