New UN guide helps Latin American farmers prevent avian influenza

30 August 2006 – In order to help prevent a possible outbreak of avian flu in Latin America and the Caribbean and raise public awareness of the threat posed by the disease, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has published a new handbook for the region’s small-scale poultry farmers.

The illustrated guide describes measures needed to ensure on-farm biosecurity and prevent contact between domestic poultry and potentially infected wild birds.

“The handbook stresses simple and affordable methods to prevent and control the disease,” said Joseph Domenech, head of FAO's Veterinary Services.

“It is very important for poultry farmers to be acquainted with the characteristics of this disease so that they can recognize it in the event of an outbreak, and immediately report it to the authorities. Prevention is the most effective weapon to forestall more serious damage and keep Latin America free of this fatal disease,” he added.

FAO's handbook is intended for widespread distribution and has been made available free-of-charge on the UN agency's website. It will also be circulated among the staff of local veterinary services and livestock technicians working with small-scale producers in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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