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Guangzhou Destroys 150,000 Poultry

China's southern city of Guangzhou has destroyed 153,320 domestic fowls in the wake of an outbreak of bird flu, local authorities said on Tuesday.

The extermination of 134,384 ducks, 18,786 chickens and 150 doves was carried out in nine villages within a radius of three kilometers from the site of the outbreak, an official with the Panyu District government said.

A total of 68 poultry farmers in Panyu District who have had close contact with ducks killed by bird flu have taken blood tests and medical checkups, and were found to be in good condition.

The Ministry of Agriculture and the National Avian Influenza Reference Laboratory have confirmed a subtype H5N1 bird flu strain killed 9,830 ducks raised in Sixian Village of Panyu District in Guangzhou City since September 5.

The Panyu District government announced on Tuesday the suspension of all poultry markets within a 13-kilometer-radius surveillance zone. Tan Yinghua, Party chief of the district, told Xinhua the district would put more pork, beef and fish on the market to meet the needs of local consumers.

As the world's largest producer of poultry, livestock and aquatic products, China has suffered huge economic losses from outbreaks of animal diseases. It is estimated that animal diseases cost China 40 billion yuan annually

The previous reported case of H5N1 bird flu in China occurred in May in central China's Hunan Province, which killed more than 11,000 poultry with another 52,800 birds being culled.

China has reported 25 human cases of bird flu since 2003, which have resulted in 16 deaths.

(Xinhua News Agency September 19, 2007)

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