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Friday, May 12, 2006 

Caution on bird flu crisis
Published on: 5/12/06.

FARMERS WILL BE the first to be affected by an Avian influenza (bird flu) outbreak and therefore must be sensitised in how to deal with it.

Chief executive officer of the Barbados Agricultural Society, James Paul, voiced this view as he addressed a workshop on risk, crisis and pre-crisis communication of Avian influenza and the Human Pandemic Influenza.

It was held on Monday at the Pan-American Health Organisation, Abergeldie, Dayrells Road, Christ Church, and attended by members of various regional organisations.

"It would have negative consequences on an industry driven by the private sector, so it is important in the scheme of things to prevent the flu reaching Barbados," Paul said.

He added there should be security controls in place to ensure that small farmers got on board and were part of the process.

"We want to sensitise them to put controls on the farm level such as chemical dips and proper fencing."

This would be made easier if it was not so difficult for farmers to get insurance, he said.
"It is difficult to get insurance due to risks involved. If adequate schemes were put in place, farmers would report any incidents instead of holding them back.

"We have indicated this to the Ministry of Agriculture and have been assured it is under consideration," Paul said. (CA)

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