Cyprus decides to ban duck-hunting to prevent bird flu
Nicosia, Jan 9 (CNA) - A meeting held at the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment decided today to ban duck-hunting as a further measure to prevent avian influenza (bird flu). The relevant decree banning duck-hunting will be issued by the Ministry of the Interior.
The announcement was made by Minister of Agriculture Eftymios Efthymiou after the meeting, which was held with the participation of all involved parties.
Efthymiou explained that migratory birds, such as ducks, may be carriers of avian influenza and ''we deemed it necessary to eliminate this possibility as well.''
Referring to the meeting, he said they discussed the situation after the new cases that appeared in Turkey, adding that the government was implementing all measures in force in Europe and had stepped up surveillance, which includes analysis of stool and dead birds, the prohibition of animal products crossing into the government-controlled areas from the areas under Turkish occupation, and checks of airplanes arriving from countries that have already had cases of avian influenza.
Regarding the Turkish occupied areas, Efthymiou said the government had sent to veterinarians the strategic plan for tackling avian influenza, through the UN, so that the necessary checks can be carried out. He added that no one was in a position to know if the checks were ''100 percent trustworthy.''