HANOI (AFP) – More than 20 international animal and human health experts are visiting Vietnam this week to help the country move from its bird flu emergency response to long-term control, a UN official said. "The thing Vietnam is pushing for is restructuring its poultry sector, moving live bird markets out of cities, building new facilities and slaughter houses," Fabio Friscia of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation said on Tuesday. .. Around eight million Vietnamese now raise poultry in backyard farms, where the risk of outbreaks is highest, said Friscia, who added that the country plans to reduce the number of such informal farms to five million within a decade. "There is concern for the future of poor backyard farmers and small commercial farmers," said Friscia, the FAO’s bird flu programme officer in Vietnam. "A lot of them will have to leave the sector with significant economic losses. The challenge is to provide these people with alternative livelihood opportunities."

Bird flu experts in Vietnam to aid long-term control