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    Agriculture Minister Eker: We prepared a month ago for bird flu

    Hürriyet Haber
    12.10.2005 - 16:44 | Son Güncelleme:

    Agriculture Minister Mehdi Eker, referring to the strains of bird flu virus which have been positively identified in Manyas, Turkey, insisted yesterday that preparations to deal with the bird flu had already been in place for a month in the region.

    Said Eker: "There is no reason to panic. Which of course does not mean that we shouldn't take this event seriously. We have made all the necessary preparations. We are following every development very seriously."  Eker spoke about the prepared state of the region: "For the first time in our history, we implemented an emergency plan for a disease one month in advance of when anything even happened. We were prepared for the eventuality that we would be dealing with such a disease one month in advance."  So far 6,500 poultry animals destroyed Eker noted that so far 6,500 poultry animals had been destroyed, and that a security quarantined corridor of 3 kilometers had been designated in the Manyas area. He also said that a large part of the pre-preparation on the part of Turkish officials had been the knowledge that birds migrating south would likely stop at the "Bird Paradise" area near Manyas, and that some of them might well be carrying the bird flu.  Eker also reminded farmers and others that they should under no circumstance try to "hide" their animals for fear of destruction on the basis of health concerns, noting that all farmers whose animal stocks were destroyed would be recompensated by the government for their losses  .
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