Positive Environment News

Thousands of Chickens Drop Dead in Trinidad

Date: 11-Jan-06

Agriculture Minister Jarette Narine said that veterinarians and other health workers visited the farms in the eastern agricultural district of Cumuto on Tuesday to carry out investigations and to take samples from the dead chickens.

"What they are saying to me is that it is not to be worried about," Narine told a local radio station.

Narine ruled out avian influenza.

The H5N1 bird flu strain is known to have killed at least 78 people since 2003 and some medical experts fear it could mutate into a form more easily passed between humans, threatening a repeat of past influenza outbreaks that killed millions around the world.

Narine said health officials believed the chickens in Trinidad were dying because of a fungal disease of the respiratory tract caused by Aspergillus fumigatus, a kind of mold.

The government said the affected farms would be quarantined until laboratory results confirm the cause of the deaths.

© Thomson Reuters 2006 All rights reserved

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