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Air India


All birds at Rai pet market culled to prevent the spread of bird flu



Kuwaiti authorities destroyed scores of birds yesterday at the pet market (also known as the bird market) in Rai to prevent the spread of bird flu. The birds were culled and placed in black garbage bags, which were then taken to an undisclosed location to be incinerated. “All the birds here were slaughtered because of bird flu – we won’t take any chances,” said a vet, who did not give his identity pending an official announcement. Asked if bird flu is dangerous and contagious to humans, he said so far there have been no transmissions of the virus to humans. “The ministry of health will come up with a bulletin on the matter,” the vet told.

All the shops were forcibly closed and customers were turned away as officials from the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) worked in cooperation with the environmental police and officers from the Municipality to eradicate infected and potentially infected birds. Trucks and police cars were on standby at the market. Avian influenza (H5N1), informally known as bird flu, is a viral infection that can infect not only birds, but also humans and other animals. However, most forms of the virus are restricted to birds.Many shop owners were shocked to hear that their birds were being destroyed.-K.T.


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