EghtesadOnline: Iran has been declared purged of any type of avian flu by Iran Veterinary Organization, citing the official confirmation of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
According to Secretary-General of IVO's Health and Management of Poultry Diseases Office Alireza Akbarshahi, the last avian flu-infected area in Iran was reported to OIE on April 8 and since then weekly examinations and reports have shown no sign of the deadly disease.
Referring to vaccination plans for poultry farms, Akbarshahi noted that so far 65 million doses of acute avian flu vaccines have been imported into Iran, 50 million doses of which have been used in 10 provinces.
Iranian poultry farms have been dealing with the deadly avian flu, especially the H5N8 strain of the virus, for several years now. The outbreaks have done a number on Iran’s poultry industry, Financial Tribune reported.
The H5N8 strain of bird flu infecting Iranian farms is deadly for poultry, but according to World Health Organization, although human infection with the virus cannot be excluded, the likelihood is low.
According to Nasser Nabipour, the head of the Board of Directors at Tehran's Union of Producers of Egg-Laying Chicken, the first strains of avian flu hit Iran in the fiscal 2010-11.
The more deadly strain of the virus emerged in 2015-16, infecting over 1,500 egg-laying hen farms, he said.
The March 2017-18 outbreak inflicted losses worth more than half a billion dollars on poultry farms. It also led to a sharp rise in egg prices and shortage of supply.
Later, the government moved to meet shortage and balance the market by importing eggs, mainly from Turkey.
Iran produces over 2 million tons of chicken annually and is among the biggest producer of chicken in the world. Iran’s per capita chicken consumption stands at 26-27 kg per year, while the global average is 13-15 kg.