, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 63-75
Date: 02 Aug 2011

Investigating Vietnam’s Ornamental Bird Trade: Implications for Transmission of Zoonoses

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Abstract

Global wildlife trade is financially lucrative, frequently illegal and increases the risk for zoonotic disease transmission. This paper presents the first interdisciplinary study of Vietnam’s illegal wild bird trade focussing on those aspects which may contribute to the transmission of diseases such as Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N1. Comparing January 2009 data with that of May 2007, we found a five-fold increase to 9,117 birds on sale in Hanoi. Ninety-five percent of Hanoian bird vendors appear unaware of trade regulations and across Vietnam vendors buy birds sourced outside of their province. Approximately 25% of the species common to Vietnam’s bird trade are known to be HPAI H5N1 susceptible. The anthropogenic movement of birds within the trade chain and the range of HPAI-susceptible species, often traded alongside poultry, increase the risk Vietnam’s bird trade presents for the transmission of pathogens such as HPAI H5N1. These results will assist in the control and monitoring of emerging zoonotic diseases and conservation of Southeast Asia’s avifauna.