Local January 11, 2020 | 7:40 am

Newcastle that kills chickens does not harm humans, experts say

Tour the streets of Cristo Rey, to see how chicken sales are after bird flu. Arido Mejía, Welcome Hermoseen, Arisleida Ovalle, Altagracia de Jesús, Careen Adames. . Today / Arlenis Castillo / 09/01/2020.

Newcastle disease, which is affecting broiler chicken farms of small poultry farmers in Cibao, “has no chance of affecting humans who consume that meat,” said the director of Livestock, Duarte Contreras.

He said it is a virulent disease, which in itself kills most chickens on farms and there is no possibility that “those sick chickens go to the market for consumption.”

He said that people can remain calm eating chickens, with the assurance that “they will remain healthy.” In recent weeks, Newcastle outbreaks have been detected on farms of small and medium-sized carcasses in Moca and La Vega, where thousands of broilers have died.

To the question of whether Livestock is certain that the producers are not going to take dead chickens from their farms, Contreras said that “they cannot get sick birds from the farms, because the disease kills more than 90%.” After pointing out that it is a very virulent disease, he explained that it is very difficult to sell dead chickens in large quantities on farms, but if they went out for consumption, they do not make humans sick.

Contreras said that the General Directorate of Livestock asks the poultry farmers to notify that agency when they have problems on their farms. He added that most of the time the producers hide the diseases or do not have the knowledge that they must notify that institution in order to go to the farms and help them.

He cited as an example, the outbreak of Newcastle de Baní, where producers notified the problem to the General Directorate of Livestock, which acted immediately, taking tests to the National Veterinary Laboratory that diagnosed the disease and sent tests to the United States, where it was confirmed that it was Newcastle.

He said the farms were cleaned and poultry farmers made recommendations and re-stocked their chickens. In Cibao, the problem is complicated because farms are close to each other and disease control is difficult, Contreras said.

He added that Moca’s General Directorate of Livestock has 5 veterinarians to assist chicken and egg producers and help them correct problems on farms.

The Minister of Agriculture, Osmar Benítez, made an inspection tour of farms in the Cibao.