Slaughtering sick poultry is a risk factor for human infection with highly pathogenic avian influenza and is a common practice in Bangladesh. This paper describes human exposures to poultry during slaughtering process and the customs and rituals influencing these practices in two Bangladeshi rural communities. In 2009, we conducted 30 observations to observe slaughtering practices and 110 in-depth and short interviews and 36 group discussions to explore reasons behind those practices. The villagers reported slaughtering 103 poultry, including 20 sick poultry during 2 months. During different stages of slaughtering, humans, the environment, healthy poultry, and other animals were exposed to poultry blood and body parts. Women performed most of the slaughtering tasks, including evisceration. Defeathering required the most time and involved several persons. During festivals, ceremonies, and rituals, many people gathered and participated in the slaughtering of poultry. Exposure to poultry slaughtering created numerous opportunities for potential avian influenza transmission. Strategies that can be further tested to determine if they reduce the risk of transmission include skinning the carcasses of sick poultry, using hot water for defeathering and cleaning, using a bucket to contain slaughtering blood and carcass, burying the offal and encouraging handwashing.
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This research was funded by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) under the agreement of CoAg Grant 5-U51-CI000298. icddr,b acknowledges the commitment of CDC to its research efforts with gratitude. We are grateful to our study participants for their time and invaluable information. We thank Marufa Hasin, Afroza Khanam Roza, and Md. Zahidur Rahman for their valuable contribution in data collection, Shamim Azad for his contribution to data organizing and Kamal Hossain for preparing the map. We also thank Dorothy Southern for her guidance in writing and Andrea Mikolon, Najmul Haider, and Meghan Scott for reviewing the manuscript.
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Rimi, N.A., Sultana, R., Ishtiak-Ahmed, K. et al. Poultry Slaughtering Practices in Rural Communities of Bangladesh and Risk of Avian Influenza Transmission: A Qualitative Study. EcoHealth 11, 83–93 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10393-013-0885-8
- Avian influenza
- poultry slaughtering
- qualitative research
- focused ethnography