Nine arrested in Vietnam for preventing chicken cull

Vietnamese police said yesterday they had arrested nine people for trying to stop chickens being taken as part of a cull aimed at preventing the spread of the H5N1 bird flu virus.

The nine were arrested Saturday, a Hanoi police source said, without elaborating.

State media said about 100 residents of the capital’s Thuong Tin district had run away with about two thirds of the 1,500 chickens that authorities were intending to cull on Thursday.

Ten animal health and market management officials at the site were unable to prevent members of a crowd from grabbing the chickens and then running away, news website VietnamNet reported.

State-run Vietnam Television said yesterday city authorities had asked the relevant agencies to take measures to prevent any repetition.

Bird flu, which was first recorded in Vietnam in 2003, is now present in five provinces, mostly in the Mekong river delta, according to the national animal health department.

The communist nation’s preventive health office confirmed yesterday a 23-year-old woman had been infected with the H5N1 strain of bird flu and had been admitted to hospital in Quang Ninh province on the Chinese border.

The first human case this year reported in Vietnam was an eight-year-old girl from northern Thanh Hoa province who subsequently recovered.

Her 13-year-old sister, who died in hospital earlier, was never tested for H5N1, health officials said.

Vietnam has the the world’s second highest tally of human fatalities from bird flu, with 52 lives lost. Indonesia leads the list with 115 victims.


Bird flu hits five provinces in Vietnam

Hanoi – An outbreak of the H5N1 avian flu virus has spread to four provinces in southern Vietnam and one in the centre of the country, a government official said Monday.

Hoang Van Nam, deputy head of Vietnam’s Animal Health Department, said thousands of fowl had been infected in the Mekong Delta provinces of Ca Mau, Bac Lieu, Soc Trang and Hau Giang.

A further outbreak was reported on a farm in the province of Nghe An in central Vietnam.

On one farm in Hau Giang province, 400 ducks found infected with the virus had not been vaccinated. Other cases involved ducks which had been vaccinated but contracted the disease before they had a chance to develop immunity.

Nam said despite government warnings, farmers were not strictly obeying regulations on preventing the spread of bird flu. He said some were throwing dead ducks in canals and rivers where their germs were likely to spread.

Vietnam Television reported Sunday that outside Hanoi on February 5, several dozen people resisted authorities who tried to destroy a truckload of live chickens that lacked quarantine certificates.

As animal health officials tossed the chickens into a pit, preparing to bury them, dozens of locals jumped into the hole and rushed away with the animals. Just 300 of the 1,500 chickens were destroyed.

Meanwhile, a doctor confirmed Monday Vietnam’s second human case of bird flu this year.

The 23-year-old woman has been hospitalized since February 3 at Quang Ninh general hospital, 150 kilometres west of Hanoi, after eating the meat of a sick chicken.

‘We are not sure if the patient can survive,’ said Dr Tran Thanh Nga, one of the doctors assigned to the case.

Vietnam’s first confirmed human case of bird flu this year was a 13-year-old girl from Thanh Hoa province, 150 kilometers south of Hanoi. The girl’s older sister died on January 2 after displaying symptoms consistent with bird flu, but was not tested for the virus.

Avian influenza has infected 106 people in Vietnam and killed 52 since it first appeared in the country in late 2003.

The disease is usually spread by contact between sick birds and humans, but scientists fear that the virus could mutate into a form that is easily transmissible among humans and spark a global pandemic that could kill millions.

Vietnam Delays Personal Income Tax Collection to Spur Spending

By Ta Bao Long

Feb. 9 (Bloomberg) — Vietnam will delay the collection of personal income tax until the end of May to help stimulate spending amid the global economic crisis.

Personal income including salaries, profit from real-estate and stock transactions and other investment returns won’t be taxed until May, the government said in a statement posted on its Web site today. The National Assembly will decide then if the payments will be waived completely or just delayed.

Vietnam’s economy expanded 6.2 percent in 2008, the slowest pace in nine years, as the global recession cut demand in the U.S. and Japan for Vietnamese exports. The government is targeting 6.5 percent growth for this year.

Vietnam will give a 30 percent discount on tax bills from the fourth quarter of last year and in 2009 for small and medium-sized firms, which have less than 10 billion dong ($572,000) in capital or employ fewer than 300 workers, the government said last month. It will also cut value-added tax by half in February for products including coal, construction materials, engineering equipment used to make other products, and automobile parts.

The country will lose about 1 trillion dong every month by “temporarily” not collecting personal income taxes for five months, the Tuoi Tre newspaper reported on Jan. 13, citing Deputy Finance Minister Do Hoang Anh Tuan.

Non-resident individuals won’t have to pay tax for income from financial investments, transactions, copyright and franchising until May, today’s statement said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ta Bao Long in Hanoi at

Vietnam: Nine Detained Over Bird Flu Fracas

HANOI, VIETNAM: Vietnamese police detained nine people suspected of having led a mob of villagers who prevented authorities last week from destroying chickens to stop the spread of bird flu, authorities said Monday (9 Feb).

The nine villagers were detained Saturday (7 Feb) in Thuong Tin district just outside Hanoi where the brawl occurred Thursday (5 Feb), said Nguyen Van Phuong, the district police chief. They could face charges of “openly appropriating property,” he said, an offense that carries up to three years in prison.

Police in Vietnam can hold suspects up to nine days without charges.

Dozens of villagers in Thuong Tin overwhelmed police and health authorities Thursday and stopped them from destroying about 1,500 chickens smuggled in from China, officials said.

As authorities removed the poultry from a truck to burn them in a pit, the villagers _ desperate for the income the birds could provide _ grabbed the chickens and ran off, they said.

Vietnam has reported two human bird flu cases so far this year.

Bird flu has killed 52 people in the country, including five last year, since it began raging through Asian poultry stocks in late 2003.

The H5N1 strain has killed at least 254 people worldwide since 2003, most through contact with sick birds. Scientists are monitoring the virus because of its potential to mutate into a new human influenza virus, which could infect millions. (AP)