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The Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) hereby seeks to bring to the general public an update on actions implemented by the Agency as it relates to the suspected introduction of Duck Hepatitis Virus to six duck farms on the coast of Guyana (Regions 3, 4 & 6).

Having received reports of high mortality amongst some farmers, an investigation was conducted by GLDA on the affected farms where Duck Viral Hepatitis (DVH) was viewed as the suspected primary disease for high mortality in ducklings between the ages of 3 to 15 days old. Samples were collected, processed and shipped to the Cornell University Duck Research Laboratory for confirmation. While this suspected disease is not treatable, Guyana awaits a response from the Laboratory to guide its future course of action in safeguarding Guyana’s animal health status.

We wish to further indicate that to date only the six private farms are affected by this disease outbreak and we have successfully been able to contain it, mainly as a result of our actions to close our hatchery, quarantine the affected farms and restrict the movements of ducklings. Additionally, to date the GLDA’s Duck Unit at Mon Repos has not been affected or has shown any signs or symptoms of this disease. Therefore, we are convinced that this outbreak affected only those six farms that we have quarantined that toll hatch at the GLDA hatchery. Further in order for us at the GLDA to continue to provide quality breeding material to the duck farming community we have imported 1400 breeding ducklings which will assist in the rebuilding of the sector.

This disease has not manifested itself in the other poultry sectors, chicken, turkey and Guinea bird, and was only observed in Muscovy ducklings between the ages of 3 to 15 days old. We would wish to assure that it is safe to consume all poultry products, including ducks.

Further, based on investigations should this disease be confirmed by the laboratory, as Duck Viral Hepatitis, it is our believe that this disease was introduced into Guyana by perhaps the illegal importation of hatching eggs or ducklings.

The GLDA takes this opportunity to remind the public in general and all livestock farmers in particular, that the illegal importation of livestock and livestock products into Guyana poses serious risk to the health of humans and animals since it prohibits our ability to ensure that whatever is imported is free from diseases.

Apart, from our suspicions of the smuggling of hatching eggs and ducklings we have encountered too many cases of the smuggling of dogs and birds into Guyana. Dogs are affected by numerous diseases that are both detrimental to humans and animals such as rabies and leptospirosis, while birds can be affected by avian influenza, amongst other diseases.  The general public is hereby encouraged to partner with the GLDA in safeguarding the health of the nation by reporting all instances of illegal animal import (smuggling) to the GLDA or the nearest Police Station. Information provided to GLDA will be treated with strict confidentiality.

We could be contacted on the numbers 592-220-6556 or 220-6557 or e-mail at glda1910@gmail.com

Thank You

Management of GLDA.

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