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Notice Issued to Prevent Bird Flu

Six departments under the State Council on Tuesday jointly issued a notice, demanding their subordinate bodies to step up bird flu inspections at borders.

The notice said currently the bird flu epidemic situation is severe in some neighboring countries and regions, and illegal fowl imports are still occurring in the country's border areas. Therefore, relevant departments should take preventing bird flu from China as an important and imperative task.

The State Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Commerce, General Administration of Customs and State Administration of Industry and Commerce released the notice.

The notice required relevant departments to ban imports of poultry from bird flu-affected Vietnam, Japan and South Korea and to increase the quarantine of fowls and disinfecting.

The notice said all quarantine organizations must intensify supervision on goods, and transport from affected areas. And all customs and public security bodies must strictly crack down on any smuggling cases from the bird flu-stricken areas.

Every quarantine organization should make an immediate inspection of the country's fowl markets, cold storage and fowl processing factories. And illegally imported poultry, which has been intercepted, must be transferred to quarantine departments as soon as possible for destruction or return, according to the notice.

On the same day, a joint inspection team, made up of the members of the above six departments inspected a fowl market and a cold storage in Beijing, and no bird flu case was spotted.

A quarantine official said such supervision will be launched nationwide.

So far, there are still no reported cases of bird flu in China.

The Ministry of Health on Sunday issued an urgent notice calling for the training health workers by March 15 on ways to prevent the spread of bird flu.

(Xinhua News Agency January 21, 2004)

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