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US Agriculture Dept. Lacks Bird Flu Testing Plan

The U.S. Agriculture Department's inspector general says the department lacks the proper plan to detect avian flu in commercial poultry.

In a recent audit of the department, the inspector general's office found that the industry is testing every flock for bird flu, but added the tests are voluntary and there is no method for reporting findings to the government.

The Associated Press news agency quotes an Agriculture Department spokeswoman (Karen Eggert) as saying the findings of the audit have furthered the department's plans to prepare and respond to any avian influenza outbreak.

Meanwhile in Indonesia Wednesday animal health expert, Peter Roeder said Indonesia needs another $50 million to fight bird flu over the next three years.

Roeder says the money would help Indonesia's agriculture department better its surveillance, coordination and rapid response programs.

Indonesia has had 39 human deaths from the H5N1 virus. Only Vietnam, with 42 deaths, has more.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.