Guinea has killed around 200,000 chickens as a precautionary measure to prevent the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza from spreading, Minister of Agriculture Mamoudou Nagnalen Barry said on Wednesday.
On June 7, the West African country reported its first six bird flu outbreaks in the Coyah and Forecariah prefectures. “Our concern is to prevent it (bird flu) from spreading to areas where the epidemic has not yet been declared,” Barry said.
This highly pathogenic H5N1 type of bird flu emerged due to intensive bird farming. “Normally, wild birds only carry the low-pathogenic variant. In intensive poultry farming, this mild flu mutated into a serious variant,” Dutch virologist Thijs Kuiken of Erasmus University Rotterdam said.
Years ago, the H5N1 variant escaped from intensive bird farms in Asia, and since then, it has been spreading through Asia, Europe, Africa and North America.
“In the long term, we have to realize that the intensive way of raising animals, with a huge number of animals huddled together in one spot, is no longer sustainable for many reasons,” Kuiken said.