There have been no outbreaks or suspicion of outbreaks of Avian Influenza, commonly known as Bird Flu in Barbados.

This assurance has come from Senior Veterinary Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mark Trotman, who has refuted news reports of Bird Flu on the island.

The Senior Veterinary Officer said that reports were made recently in the media, which referred to H1N1 as Bird Flu. He noted that the error had caused problems for the department and by extension Barbados.

???There have been some reports in the media about [an] outbreak of influenza H1N1 in St. Vincent and an influenza-like illness in Barbados, and it has been erroneously referred to as Bird Flu, which has created a number of challenges for us in the Veterinary Services Department with respect to international trade issues and international opinion about the status of the health of the animals and the birds in Barbados,??? he said.

Dr. Trotman added that one of the strongest animal surveillance programmes on the island was that of Avian Influenza. He noted that if there was ever a case of the disease found on the island, that it would have to be immediately reported to the World Organization for Animal Health.

???I would like to reinforce that poultry from Barbados is absolutely safe. There is no risk for transmission of Avian Influenza through the importation or consumption of poultry from Barbados,??? he said.

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