U.N., African poultry-industry officials discuss avian-flu prevention measures

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The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) held a meeting in Senegal recently with poultry-industry representatives from Central and West Africa to discuss risk management to control the spread of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in the production chain.

 The Senegalese government helped organize the meeting as part of the United States Agency for International Development-funded (USAID) Emerging Pandemic Threats program (EPT-2).

At the meeting, M. James Zumwalt, a representative from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA/APHIS) praised the FAO Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Disease (ECTAD) for its achievements in animal health systems in West and Central Africa.

“I would like to pay tribute to the successful collaboration between the FAO Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and to many others who contributed to the regional monitoring and diagnosis network (RESOLAB),” Zumwalt said.

FAO representatives stressed the importance of disseminating information on preventive measures related to HPAI.

“Poultry farming is also one of the five priority sectors of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), and it carries hope for the resilience of the disadvantaged in terms of malnutrition in general and the lack of animal protein in particular,” Aminata Mbengue Ndiaye, minister of livestock and animal production in Senegal.

Vincent Martin, FAO representative in Senegal, agreed.

"The importance of the poultry sector is well established. It contributes to promoting job creation in this promising and growing field. In rural areas, family poultry contributes to the enhancement of people’s livelihoods and to women’s empowerment,” Martin said.

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Food and Agriculture Organization

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