Theresia Sufa and Rusman, The Jakarta Post, Bogor, Bekasi
Bogor regency has said it will make land available to Jakarta for the relocation of poultry breeding sites.
Sutrisno, the head of the health unit of the Bogor Animal Husbandry Agency, said Wednesday the regency had more than enough space to accommodate poultry breeding farms and hatcheries, which would, at the end of the day, generate more revenue for the administration.
He was speaking in response to Jakarta Governor Sutiyoso's statement that he wanted to relocate poultry farms to neighboring areas like Bogor.
Amid a resurgence of the disease that has claimed five lives nationwide since the beginning of the year, Sutiyoso signed a decree last week banning backyard farming and relocating poultry industries.
"We're ready to take up Governor Sutiyoso's offer to provide land for Jakarta's poultry breeders. The local people will get the economic benefits, which will later contribute to regional revenue," Sutrisno said.
Unlike in Jakarta, where a number of cases of human infection have been confirmed, Sutrisno said no human cases had been reported in Bogor, but that did not mean the administration would take up the offer without weighing up the risks.
"The most important thing we can do is to keep areas where chickens and ducks are kept clean."
Sutrisno, however, declined to say which areas of Bogor he had in mind.
"We (the Jakarta and Bogor administrations) will meet within the next few days to discuss what to do next."
Bogor Council speaker Rachmat Yasin said if Jakarta really wanted to relocate its poultry to Bogor, the offer must be taken up without delay.
"Bogor is a supporting area of Jakarta, so we need to be ready to support its decisions."
But Perry Soeparman, the regency administration's secretary, said he did not want to see Bogor become a place where Jakarta dumped its problems.
"Jakarta needs to deal with this issue itself, not just shift the problem to our city. I dread the thought of Bogor residents falling victim to careless decision-making."
Meanwhile, instead of taking "drastic action" like Jakarta, which has banned backyard farming in residential areas, the Bekasi administration is only gone so far as to require noncommercial bird owners to obtain health certificates for their birds.
Edy Kadarusman, an official with the Bekasi Economic and Cooperatives Agency, said Wednesday: "Hopefully, we can start issuing the certificates in two weeks."
To obtain the certificates, Edy said people could bring their birds in to the agency's office.
"The certificate will be issued after the birds are examined. It will state the bird is healthy and free of bird flu."
He said officials could also be contacted to go into residential areas and check birds on-site.
"Residents can call hotline numbers (021) 88957815, 68892041, 71093872, or 081311112797," he said, adding that it was a free service and residents should report any officials who tried to charge them.
In 2005, Bekasi imposed restrictions on poultry transported from other regions. Traders from outside the regency must provide certificates issued by their local administration stating their poultry is free of bird flu.
"We will again intensify checks of poultry sent here from other regions," Edy said.