Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Agricultural Society said all measures must now be in place to ensure the avian influenza H5N1 virus does not reach the island.

James Paul tells Starcom Network News he is concerned that some countries in the region are reporting cases of the virus and stressed the devastating impact this could have on the local poultry industry.

He said there are no procedures in place to compensate farmers in the event there is bird flu on island.

CEO of the Barbados Agricultural Society, James Paul

Meantime Director of the Centre for Biosecurity Studies at the UWI Cavehill Campus, Dr. Kirk Douglas said Barbadians should be on alert and urged those in the farming sector to be prepared and have good sanitary practices.

Dr. Douglas noted this H5N1 virus is highly transmissible and unprecedented.

Dr. Douglas said the longer the virus mutates the higher the chance for the virus to spread from humans to humans.

Director of the Centre for Biosecurity Studies at the UWI Cavehill Campus, Dr. Kirk Douglas

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