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Singapore kills healthy chickens in bird flu drill to test readiness

Singapore kills healthy chickens in bird flu drill to test readiness

Singapore slaughtered a few hundred healthy chickens in an exercise Wednesday to test the city-state's operational readiness to deal with a bird flu outbreak.
The drill was aimed at testing the mobilization of emergency response staff, who include workers from slaughterhouses and cleaning and construction companies, said Goh Shih Yong, spokesman for the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority.
Those conducting the drill wore masks, goggles, gloves and blood-proof gowns. They put 540 old but flu-free chickens in plastic bags, then gassed them with carbon dioxide and incinerated them at an isolated site, Goh said.
The drill also tested the decontamination process and coordination between the various government agencies.
"It was a successful exercise, which we will assess subsequently to analyze and determine what can be improved," he said.
Singapore, which has so far reported no H5N1 bird flu cases, has stepped up measures to avoid a local outbreak of the illness. The H5N1 strain of bird flu has killed at least 148 people worldwide since it started ravaging poultry stocks in Asia three years ago, according to the World Health Organization.


Updated : 2021-05-11 12:21 GMT+08:00