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China Sees Decreasing Cases of Animal Diseases

China has been a decrease in the incidents of major animal epidemic diseases, such as bird flu and foot-and-mouth disease, in recent years, said a spokesman for the Ministry of Agriculture on Sunday.

In 2004, China had 50 outbreaks of bird flu. In 2005, 31 cases of bird flu in domestic fowl and one case of migratory birds were reported across the country. The number of bird flu cases dropped to 10 in domestic fowl and one in migratory birds in 2006.

In the first three quarters this year, only three bird flu cases were reported in Tibet, central Hunan and southern Guangdong Provinces, said the spokesman at the 5th China International Agricultural Trade Fair held in Jinan, east China's Shandong Province.

The last reported case of H5N1 bird flu in China occurred in early September in a village of Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province, where 9,830 ducks died of the disease and 153,320 domestic fowl were culled. The quarantine on the village was lifted 21 days later with no more new deaths was found.

According to the figures of the Ministry of Agriculture, China had 17 outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease in 2005 and the figure dropped to 10 in the following year. In the first eight months this year, only seven cases of the disease were reported.

This year, about 280,000 pigs were contracted with blue-ear pig disease in 286 counties and more than 70,000 of them died.

By the end of this August, the Ministry of Agriculture had sent 94 inspection and experts teams to the epidemic areas, guiding the prevention and control work, since the disease first broke out in some southern provinces last summer.

The number of blue-ear disease cases plunged sharply in late August. The cases were reported only in 14 counties in seven provinces with no further spread, according to a report by the Ministry of Agriculture in September.

(Xinhua News Agency October 15, 2007)

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