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.


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