GLDA closes hatchery

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…due to unusual deaths of ducklings

THE unusual deaths of ducklings at the Guyana Livestock and Development Authority’s (GLDA’s) Hatchery has resulted in its temporary closure, the Ministry of Agriculture has announced.

“There is an increased mortality rate of ducklings being hatched at our facility, additionally, we were also informed by some farmers that a similar occurrence was taking place on a number of farms throughout the various regions,” the Ministry of Agriculture said on Saturday.

It was noted that the high mortality rates are recorded primarily in the Muscovy breed of ducklings, generally between the ages of two-three weeks. “The ducklings most affected are from the farms that toll hatch at the GLDA hatchery, therefore, as a result of this unusual occurrence, the GLDA is currently conducting an active surveillance exercise through all five coastal regions and are monitoring the breeding flocks of the affected farmers,” the Ministry of Agriculture explained.

The unusual occurrence was detected by GLDA’s surveillance team, and a decision was taken to close the hatchery until further notice. The ministry is now seeking the cooperation of the duck farmers to conduct the surveillance exercise. “We are actively working with an overseas reference laboratory to have this unusual event addressed within the shortest period of time,” the Ministry of Agriculture said while assuring farmers that it is aware that the economic impact on the duck farming community is huge. “…we are working assiduously to have the situation rectified at the earliest opportune time. Our duck farming community can rest assure that the GLDA has the full support of the Board of Directors and the Ministry of Agriculture, and we are doing everything possible to have this issue resolved. Additionally, we would welcome any information from the farming community in this regard,” the Ministry of Agriculture said.

The Ministry of Agriculture said, to date, it has not received reports of high mortality in Adult Muscovy ducks and other breeds such as Pekin and the Kunshan. It said farmers with information can contact agriculture officials on telephone number 220-6557 or email them at glda1910@gmail.com.