NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 18 – Kenya has banned the importation of birds and poultry products from Uganda following the outbreak of the deadly bird flu along the shores of Lake Victoria near Entebbe.
According to the Director of veterinary services Kisa Juma, this is a temporary measure to prevent possible transfer of the disease to Kenya.
He told Capital FM News that the department has also sent a surveillance team to the Kenya-Uganda border to gauge the situation and ensure adequate preventive measures are undertaken.
“We have banned the importation of any poultry products because of the avian flu. We will enforce this ban until such a time that the situation in Uganda has been contained,” he stated.
“We have also deployed our veterinary officers to the border between Kenya and Uganda to monitor the situation. In that team, we have included officers from the County Governments there to ensure we are not affected.”
The highly pathogenic avian influenza, commonly referred to as avian flu or avian influenza, can kill both humans and animals.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett is set to announce more comprehensive measures taken to prevent an outbreak in Kenya.
Over the weekend, Uganda announced that it had detected bird flu among migratory birds, without specifying whether it was the particularly virulent H5 strain detected this season in countries worldwide.
The Agriculture Ministry said bird flu had been detected in two spots, one near Entebbe, on the banks of Lake Victoria, and another in the Masaka district about 120 kilometres west of Kampala.
Five domestic ducks and a hen in Masaka were also infected, leading authorities to call for all poultry to be kept inside to avoid further contagion from migratory birds.
In a statement, Christopher Kibazanga, Minister for Agriculture, Animals and Fisheries said local wildlife authorities on January 2 had reported the “mass death of wild birds, seen by fishermen at Lutembe beach at the shores of Lake Victoria near Entebbe”.
Another report arrived on January 13 from the Masaka district and in both cases the specimen tested positive for “the highly pathogenic avian influenza that affects both humans and animals and which causes a high number of deaths in both species.”