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Bird flu expert says cases diagnosed in Turkey do not pose a threat.



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Expert plays down Turkish bird flu threat

Monday, 09/01/2006

An Australian bird flu expert says the new cases diagnosed in Turkey will not force Australia to change its risk assessment for the disease.

Five people tested positive to the deadly strain of the virus in the Turkish cities of Ankara and Van at the weekend.

President of the Australian Veterinary Poultry Alliance, Dr Peter Scott, says there is no immediate threat to Australia because our poultry handling practices are more tightly controlled than Turkey's.

"It's certainly of concern, but I think it must be kept in perspective," he said.

"The way we house our poultry, the way we operate our poultry, the way we feed and water our poultry, is distinctly very different.

"Our poultry are kept under very secure conditionsin sheds. We closely monitor the type of water they get, and we avoid feeding those birds contaminated feed or contaminated water. So our risk assessment here doesn't change with the episodes in Turkey."

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9/02/2006 http://www.abc.net.au/rural/content/2006/s1544120.htm