4 May 2006

Tissue samples from dead chickens in Samoa sent to NZ for testing

11:14 am on 4 May 2006

Samoa's Agriculture Ministry says tissue samples taken from ten dead chickens found in Maninoa Siumu are being sent to New Zealand for testing.

The family, who own the poultry, say the ten chickens died within a week, and raised concerns about the lack of response from authorities to the incident.

The Chief Executive of the Agriculture Ministry, Malaki Iakopo, says they are taking action now but his head vet cannot say yet what killed the chickens.

He says the samples sent to New Zealand will be tested for a number of diseases, including birdflu.

"i think they suspect that some other diseases - not birdflu - but they suspect that its something else - but just to make sure that its not birdflu - they have to send those tissue samples to new zealand for investigation."

Malaki Iakopo says his officers are also looking into the concerns raised by the family.

New Zealand government officials say they've yet to recieve a request from Samoa to test samples from dead chickens for diseases including bird flu.