AI in indonesia review

Avian Influenza case re-emerged in the beginning of 2007, adding Indonesian bad record by taking 2 Indonesian lives away.  AI news on the printed media, TV, and radio had terrorized everyone. This case also contribute to image percept by community that government has no competence to solve any problem, not only poverty but also corruption and others. Do the cases get more and more? Where is the core of the problem lies, causing distraught in Indonesian government to handle this problem and also had successfully delivered Indonesia to the top of the world worst AI case? 

AI entered Indonesia on 2003. In the beginning, the disease that has killed billions of poultry in many areas was not identified yet. It only known as the new variant of ND (Newcastle Disease).  Some moment later, discovered that the disease is AI. On 2004, AI was stated as outbreak by the Minister of Agriculture, symbolized by the issuing Decree no 96/Kpts/PD.620/2/2004, dated 3 February 2004. AI virus spread rapidly in many areas of Indonesia.  The issuing of President’s statement on 2005 that AI is an Extraordinary Occurrence (KLB), showed that this disease is a seriously threatening disease. Why it is so serious? Check at the fantastic Human case number, from total 78 cases, 68 of them had died.  Means death rate is up to 87,2%. This is the highest number in the world. Another example, from 33 provinces in Indonesia, only 3 provinces: Maluku, Gorontalo, and North Maluku are free from AI (Free zone Area). While the rest are endemic areas, and the highest incidence happened in all provinces in Java Island, Lampung, Sumbar, Sumut, Riau, and Jambi. 

            Analyzing AI in Indonesia must match the context of the related sectors or the existing poultry farming system. According to FAO and OIE (World Organization for Animal Health). The poultry farming system is categorized into 4 sectors. In simple way, sector 1 and 2 are the industrial sector with large production scale. Sector 3 is community poultry farming system with the small farming scale. And sector 4 is the poultry farming system takes place in the house yard. And usually called as back-yard poultry system

            In Indonesian AI handling, sector 4 or the sector developed by most of people in the village and sub-urban in their house yard has become the main reason of AI transmission. In another word this sector is accused responsible for the following question: “Why it is very difficult to control AI?”. The control is also focusing in sector 3 but with less proportion if compared to sector 4. Watch the 4 campaign themes made by AI National Commission on March 2006, starred by Farhan. The background and the theme were all about sector 4. So do the other advertisement/ campaign in other format, all are in sector 4 theme and background. There are several reasons why sector 4 becomes the center of the problem in the AI control.

  1. Poultry (chicken) rose in sector 4 mostly live freely outside the cage. Hence, it is difficult to control or be monitored. This will also impact on the difficulties in doing vaccination and post vaccination control.
  2. The virus will spread easily in this sector due to the direct contact and the absence of barrier between sick and healthy poultry.
  3. Chicken are often raised together with ducks, while the duck itself is recognize as the AI virus carrier without being infected severely.
  4. On sector 4, human cases are often emerged caused by close contact between human and poultry. In the community daily life, people are accustomed to live side by side with their poultry. 
  5. Most people in sector 4 that raise poultry are having shallow knowledge about AI.

          If we see from the above logic, we will see that the main problem lies on the caging system. If the poultry have already put in the cages and the owner can maintain the cleanliness of the cage, everything will be safe then – just like what the community service advertisement on TV said. But speaking of caging is not that easy, in sector 4. The economics reason are the dominant reason why the caging effort is hard to be done. The caging process needs materials to build the cage and also special poultry food for the poultry in the cage.  For all these times, the chickens are free to search their own food in the house yard as well as from the garbage. Meaning, besides take more cost, the caging system will also takes special time in the poultry farming. This does not equal to the economics value of this sector. Where the first aim was not for economics purpose, but for part/ leisure-time family business.

 If the caging process is difficult to do, then the more extreme way will tend to be done: forbidding non-commercial poultry farming in the housing area. The poultry farming with total amount less than 20 chickens in the housing area will be culled with compensation as much as Rp. 12.500 each. While the farming which has poultry more than that, must put in cage, with minimum distance 250m away from the housing area. This restriction is valid for Jakarta, West Java, and Banten regards their high number of AI case. The restriction is up to 6 months later (kompas, 16 January 2007).

 But is that true that the main problem of AI totally lies in the community farming or sector 3 and 4 just because their low bio security? Aren’t sectors 1 and 2 also give contribution to the AI transmission, regarding that until now the government do not have strong authority toward these 2 sectors to monitor their internal condition, so that they know nothing about what is really happen inside? The absence of authority can be seen in the absence of regulation that gives authority to government to inspect sector 1 and 2. These sectors have been considered independent so that they need no control anymore.         

This is not about independence, but about transparency thus balance and openness of information may takes place. On 2007 the government is just going to start industry restructuring such as evaluating production process, distribution, trade, and poultry consumption. But how far these steps will intervene the internal world of poultry farming industry thus influencing the AI control, we do not know yet. And whether intervention to monitor every detail in the industry sector is significant or not to be done, not many people are sure about it due to the limited information of these sectors. This argumentation only aimed to put a balancing logic between community farming system and the industry farming system.

            Besides that, there are risk factors influenced the AI transmission in Indonesia. For instance, the traditional wet market which is a possible place for disease to transmit. This caused by the mixing of so many kind of poultry, makes it hard to detect and control the coming poultry, whether the amount, health condition, and its often contact with human. The other risk factors are:

         Live chicken trade from one area to another – even when there is a control movement but still it is very difficult to apply in the AI context because the symptoms cannot be observed physically.

         The black market or smuggling over island or inter-area.

         And many other risk factors as barriers in the AI control, hence makes the AI control in Indonesia difficult.


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