2007 News Story

Ministry of Agriculture issues statement on avian influenza

The Ministry of Agriculture reported yesterday that cases of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu had been discovered in birds at a private rest house in the Eastern Province.

The Ministry of Agriculture reported that the General Department of Agricultural Affairs in the Eastern Province received a report on 22/2/1428 H (March 12, 2007) of dead birds.  A veterinary team headed to the site and removed the dead birds.  Samples were sent to the Veterinary Diagnosis Laboratory in Riyadh for testing.  Upon confirmation of disease, the Ministry of Agriculture took all necessary measures, including the destruction of all birds a nd sterilization of the area.  The ministry undertook a comprehensive survey of the adjacent areas for possible contamination.

The Ministry of Agriculture stressed that the domestic poultry industry is safe and free from H5N1, and emphasized the need to adhere to veterinary quarantine regulations and royal orders and directives banning the importation of all types of live birds and hunting of any migrant birds by any means to avoid contact with birds that might be carrying the disease.