Preparing for the threat of Avian Influenza in East Asia

Across Asia, the number of poultry farms, both industrial and small-scale, has expanded rapidly in recent years. The conditions in which poultry are raised in close confinement and often poor sanitary conditions have resulted in periodic outbreaks of different strains of avian influenza. The response usually involves culling of poultry at affected farms and strict controls on movement and transport of birds to surrounding areas to contain the spread of the disease.

Strict biosecurity at farms is recognized as the key approach to address this threat. Wild birds, particularly migratory waterbirds, including cranes, are also the victims of poor biosecurity measures and are susceptible to infection by highly pathogenic strains of avian influenza, as they often inhabit wetlands in close proximity to poultry farms.