Indonesia slaughters flocks as bird flu spreads
stocks as they fight to prevent the spread of bird flu throughout
the country - a battle which they currently appear to be losing.
According to reports in the Jakarta Post, the Indonesian authorities have set aside IDR750 million to help farmers forced to cull their chicken flocks in South Sulawesi, with a further IDR250 million ringfenced for further compensation claims.
However, with roughly IDR2,000 set aside for each slaughtered bird, farmers will receive less than the market price for their chickens, although only infected birds have been slaughtered thus far and the current vaccination programme should help prevent the disease spreading futrther.
That said, the epidemic appears to be spreading throughout the province of South Sulawesi, affecting around 128,000 chickens there so far.
There was good news, however, with the revelation that the strain of bird flu in Indonesia was different from that ravaging Thailand and Hong Kong, and is unlikely to jump from birds to humans as it has done in those countries.
Furthermore, consumers can continue to eat chickens and eggs from Indonesia, provided they are cooked at more than 70 degrees Celsius, according to the World Health Organisation.
According to the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture, bird flu has killed 16.23 million birds in the country, with 8.17 million of them in Central Java, the worst-hit province.