Vil­lagers baf­fled by sud­den death of chick­ens

New Straits Times - - News -

BACHOK: Vil­lagers of Kam­pung Dusun Durian here are baf­fled by the spate of deaths of chick­ens from the avian flu H5N1 in the vil­lage as it is lo­cated 30km away from the near­est cen­tre of out­break.

The vil­lagers said none of them kept fight­ing cocks and there had been no move­ment of birds from the places in­fected with the flu, the two ma­jor sources of in­fec­tion.

Shukri Che Omar, 44, said he no­ticed sev­eral ayam kam­pung reared by his fam­ily had run­ning noses on Satur­day, but thought noth­ing of it.

“How­ever, they started fall­ing to the ground and died in the next few days. I lost six chick­ens. Sev­eral of my neigh­bours also suf­fered losses. I know they died of the avian flu as it is all over the news,” he said yes­ter­day.

Shukri said Ve­teri­nary Ser­vices De­part­ment work­ers were all over the vil­lage in the last few days to cull the birds.

“We are not knowl­edge­able about the dis­ease. It would be of great help if the de­part­ment could ex­plain to us how the dis­ease is spread. The vil­lage is 30km away from the near­est cen­tre of out­break and we are won­der­ing how it could spread that far. The in­for­ma­tion will help us take pre­cau­tions so that the out­break will not spread to other ar­eas,” he said.

Kam­pung Dusun Durian is presently the sole vil­lage in the district af­fected by the dis­ease.

Mean­while, food stall op­er­a­tor Md Jo­hari Arif­fin, 34, could not stop shed­ding tears when Ve­teri­nary of­fi­cers took away more than 30 birds from his home, in­clud­ing three pet doves and two Ayam Can­tik, for culling on Thurs­day night.

“I bought them for sev­eral hun­dred ring­git in Kuala Tereng­ganu and have kept them for three years. I loved them and it was painful to see them be­ing put down,” he said.

Jo­hari, orig­i­nally from Tereng­ganu, said he ac­cepted the de­ci­sion taken by the de­part­ment as it was done to stop the bird flu from spread­ing to other vil­lages and en­dan­ger­ing hu­man lives.

In Pasir Mas, or­gan­is­ers of a weekly bird sing­ing com­pe­ti­tion at Kam­pung Pasir Parit caught en­thua­sists by sur­prise when it de­cided to can­cel the event tem­po­rar­ily be­cause of the out­break.

The event, which is pop­u­lar with lo­cals and fans from neigh­bour­ing Thai­land, has been run­ning for seven years.

Chief or­gan­iser Ken Chan Lee said he de­cided to can­cel the pro­gramme as he was wor­ried that the birds would be in­fected by the virus, caus­ing more than 30 fans who had ar­rived at the com­pe­ti­tion venue to re­turn home.

“We or­gan­ised this bird sing­ing com­pe­ti­tion to ful­fill the ac­tiv­ity for bird en­thu­si­asts.

“It at­tracted a large from fol­low­ing all over the state and vis­i­tors from nearby prov­inces in Thai­land.”

BY FATHIL ASRI PIC

The can­cel­la­tion of a bird sing­ing com­pe­ti­tion at Kam­pung Pasir Parit in Pasir Mas yes­ter­day has caught en­thu­si­asts by sur­prise.

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