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Mar 3, 2022

BAHA Concerned About Diseased Birds Heading This Way

Dr. Depaz of BAHA says Newcastle Disease has been detected in some birds in southern Belize but not in the commercial flock. He said BAHA is urging farmers to vaccinate their bird populations to prevent their flocks from getting sick and dying. Coupled with that, there is another type of bird flu that might pose a difficult challenge for Belize to keep out.


Dr. Miguel DePaz

Dr. Miguel DePaz, Director Animal Health Dept. BAHA

“We’re seeing it in the backyard flock and we’re actively engaged in the vaccination program because there’s a vaccine to prevent the disease. So we’re working closely with the Ministry of Agriculture and we have teams out there vaccinating birds for Newcastle Disease. Right now we have the H5N1 threat that is affecting Canada, somewhere around eleven states in the United States. It’s transmitted by migratory birds. That’s a serious event. It’s a disease outbreak that can easily come to Belize and destroy our industry. We’re doing lots of public awareness because we want to know when we have die-off of birds. Maybe the migratory birds could have die-offs, or not necessarily because they are reservoir – they could have the virus and live with it and nothing happens to them. So if something were to happen to them, you’d have die-offs and then we’d want to be notified so you need to do public awareness. The farmer that owns the commercial poultry has to have bio-security, limiting who enter the farm, which vehicle, but especially to make it bird-proof because the migratory birds can come and have direct contact with the poultry and they can also have indirect contact, meaning wild birds can contaminate water bodies and if our commercial flock were to consume contaminated water, that’s a possibility because the virus is in the faeces.”

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