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Tuesday, 21 March 2017 | MYT 10:38 AM

Penang veterinary dept debunks rumours of mass chicken culling

NIBONG TEBAL: A viral message claiming that chickens and eggs were secretly being destroyed in Valdor, Sungai Bakap, and urging the public to stop its consumption has been confirmed as fake.  

Penang Veterinary Services Department director Dr Siti Salmiyah Tahir said they had not received any report from poultry farmers in the state about the matter.  

"So far, everything is under control. If these were true, the farmers would immediately alert us to conduct laboratory tests.  

"We have also implemented border control for import of poultry from other states," she said when contacted on Monday.

Jawi assemblyman Soon Lip Chee said he had received the message on WhatsApp and found no such cases after checking with the poultry operators.  

"None of them recognised the farms in the photos. It's a hoax," he said.  

However, Soon advised poultry farmers to continue good hygiene practices in their farms.  

On March 15, the Kelantan state government was reported to have declared the bird flu epidemic (H5N1) a state disaster after several free-range chickens died from the disease in Kampung Pulau Tebu, Tunjong, Kota Baru on March 6.  

It was reported that the epidemic had been brought under control within a 30km-radius of Kampung Pulau Tebu covering six districts.

It is unknown where the pictures are from, but the same images were used in a post also claiming mass culling of chickens due to an outbreak of bird flu in Hayathnagar, India back in April 2015.

A composite picture of two images being circulated were not taken in Penang.