Saturday

African ministers start emergency talks on bird flu

By KIGALI, Correspondent

African agriculture and health ministers are consulting on bird flu precautions here on Friday in the wake of United Nation's warning of a possible avian influenza outbreak in the poor-prepared continent.

Seventeen ministers in charge of agriculture or health, along with over 200 experts, particularly veterinaries, from more than 40 Africa countries and 20 international organizations, added bird flu as the top agenda to the 7th African Union Conference of Ministers Responsible for Animal Resources held in the Rwandan capital of Kigali.

The delegates are expected to define a precaution scheme against the threat of the H5N1 strain that has killed more than 60 persons in Asia and sparked a global panic.

The Food and Agriculture organization of UN warned that upcoming migration of wild birds are likely to carry the virus into the continent from Europe where the H5N1 strain had been found among fowls in the past three weeks.

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