- Hello, Jeff -- Illegal animal imports
and illegal smuggling of poultry and live avians will keep H5N1 spreading.
It would appear that China simply does not care if they export poultry
etc and the virus spreads to areas of the world now free from Avian Influenza.
- Illegal smuggling is a serious threat
to the world. I would hope that the US would begin to get tuff on this
crime. I am afraid that it will only be AFTER THE FACT, i.e. once the
US makes the announcement that Avian Flu, highly pathogenic H5N1 is here,
ONLY AFTER THAT ANNOUNCEMENT will any steps be taken to secure the country
from illegal importation.
- Nigeria can directly trace its index
avian flu case to illegal importation of day old chickens from China.
- Cracking down on illegal imporation of
poultry, animals, and avian species should be one of the first measures
taken in our Avian Flu Prevention Protocols. Simply producing a vaccine
that, in the estimation of many scientists, that won't work, or simply
stockpiling tamiflu and antivirals that, in a short time, won't prevent
avian flu, is NOT doing much in the way of Avian Flu planning. Number
one on the protocol list should be sealing the border to smuggled livestock
and products as well as illegal enterants into the US. If we attempt this,
then I can say we are on the right track.
- Remember, the Bird Flu Clock is Ticking.
- Patricia Doyle
- From Joe Dudley -
- The below article  published on 16
Mar 2005 by Thanh Nien News contains a detailed description of the various
transportation systems used in the trans-frontier poultry smuggling trade
between China and Viet Nam.
- This article includes an interesting
statement that "old hens" [spent layer hens] comprise a significant
proportion of the live poultry smuggling trade between Viet Nam and China.
It should also be noted in this context that bulk sales of "old birds"
-- most probably spent layer hens -- by commercial poultry producers were
implicated as a possible contributing factor in at least one human bird
flu cluster in Turkey (see 20060111.0100).
- Research presented at the 6th International
Symposium on Avian Influenza (3-6 Apr 2006) indicate that there are at
least 2 reasons why this factor may be significant:
- 1. Genetics research on H5N1 strains
circulating in Viet Nam indicates that there was at least one new introduction
of an H5N1 strain from China to Viet Nam during 2005. (The reference to
the new introduction of H5N1 to Viet Nam during 2005 came from a presentation
by Robert Webster, and the finding was published in a PNAS paper this past
February 2006 -- PNAS 103(8), see pg 2847, column 2 PP 2.)
- 2. Experimental studies have shown that
vaccinated chickens can harbor and transmit the H5N1 virus without showing
any outward signs of infection, and that vaccinated chickens as well as
domesticated ducks can serve as infectious asymptomatic carriers of the
Asian H5N1 HPAI virus. (The reference for transmission by vaccinated chickens
is M. Bublot et al. of Merial (David Swayne of USDA SEPRL co-author), and
for transmission in vaccinated ducks is J.A van der Groot et al (CIADC,
- See also: Chen et al. Establishment of
multiple sublineages of H5N1 influenza virus in Asia: Implications for
pandemic control. PNAS 103(8), 2845-2850).
- The proceedings of the 6th International
Symposium on Avian Influenza will be published in the December 2006 issue
of Avian Diseases, and the contributed papers should provide many valuable
new insights into the mechanisms underlying the spread of the H5N1 bird
flu during 2005/2006 from Asia into the Middle East, Europe, and Africa.
- Joseph P. Dudley, Ph.D.
- Chief Scientist
- EAI Corporation
- 4301 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 200
- Arlington, VA 22203
- Concerns Mount As Chinese Chickens Illegally
Flow Into Viet Nam
- Source: Thanh Nien News
- 16 Mar 2006
- The growing illegal import of chickens
from China to Viet Nam via northern border gates has become a concern for
the country, as the smuggling poses a threat to Viet Nam's attempts to
contain the bird flu.
- Although the Vietnamese prime minister
has issued a ban on the import and transportation of poultry from other
countries in order to control the spread of bird flu, smugglers have managed
to set up an elaborate system to get chickens from China across the border
unchecked. Up to 70 percent of chickens smuggled via the northern border
into Lang Son province have escaped proper checks from border guards and
police forces, said Captain Le Quang Dao, head of the border guard station
surrounding the Huu Nghi International Border Gate.
- According to a Thanh Nien investigation,
smugglers have designed a sophisticated system to illegally import chickens
- 1st, the chickens from China are gathered
at certain areas near the Huu Nghi Border Gate. From there, smugglers hire
porters carrying empty cages to walk up the mountain paths in the area
during the night.
- The porters then bring the cages, which
each contain 40 chickens, down to the mountain foot where a fleet of Minsk
motorbike drivers await to carry the cages into Lang Son town. In order
to avoid being caught, the motorbike drivers drive at high speeds of 80
to 90 km per hour. From Lang Son town, trucks then transport the smuggled
chickens to other localities.
- Chinese chickens are usually bought at
12 000 to 13 000 VND [USD 0.75-0.82] per kilogram at border gates and then
resold for 17 000 VND [USD 1.06] in Lang Son town, according to smugglers
who have been caught. In other provinces, the price of illegally traded
chickens can go up to 40 000 VND [USD 2.50].
- To ensure they don't get caught, smugglers
also have people hanging around near the offices of police and border guards.
These people are assigned to immediately sound the alarm when an officer
leaves the office.
- But, most smugglers are unaware of the
dangers they pose by bringing the unchecked chickens into the country.
Even worse, some do not care about their health or the health of others.
- On 16 Mar 2006, police forces stopped
a truck carrying some 1.6 tons of chickens smuggled from China. The chickens,
worth an estimated 20 million VND [USD 1255] were then transferred to market
monitors for destruction. Most of the chickens were old hens, with some
already dead. According to local residents, the Chinese people have sold
such chickens to Viet Nam but then go to markets along the border to buy
- When An Thi Binh from Bac Giang province
was arrested as the truck owner of the smuggled chickens, she showed no
fear that the chickens could possibly carry the bird flu. So far, "nothing
has happened to other people trading chickens like me. If anything happens,
I will be the 1st to die," she said.
- According to Captain Dao, all smuggled
chickens caught by police or border guards have been destroyed.
- Patricia A. Doyle DVM, PhD
- Bus Admin, Tropical Agricultural Economics
- Univ of West Indies
- Please visit my "Emerging Diseases"
message board at:
- Also my new website:
- Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa
- Go with God and in Good Health