Official: No Money To Replace Culled Poultry

As reports filter out of villages in Kom­pong Speu and Kampot prov­inces that villagers are hiding their sick chickens from government avi­an influenza extermination teams, officials said Thursday that the government has not implemented its policy of replacing culled poultry.

“We have not restocked any chickens because we lack the budget,” Agriculture Minister Chan Sa­run said on Thursday.

Although the government decided that chickens killed in the course of bird flu investigations would be replaced with baby chicks, it is still discussing the funding of this initiative with potential donors, he said.

“The number of chickens that have been killed are not many,” he said, adding that the government’s pri­ority now is disseminating the message that handling sick chickens can be fatal.

He also said that a delegation from the World Bank will study fund­ing a chicken replacement system soon.

Kompong Speu Provincial Agri­culture Department Director Bin Sareth said the government plans to replace 400 birds killed during the investigation that followed the death of a three-year-old girl from bird flu in the province last month.

“The department is monitoring the area of the outbreak and will sup­ply baby chickens in June,” he said.

UN Food and Agriculture Or­gan­ization Representative Kimoto Tsu­kasa said the government is willing to restock chickens, once it can find the money to do so.

“If the government had the re­sources, it has no objection,” he said, adding that the FAO is ready to fund bird replacement but the government is still discussing the funding with donors.


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