DUSHANBE , March 13, Asia-Plus - Senior experts from member nations of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) have gathered in Tehran to discuss issues of combating avian influenza (bird flu). 

Mullojon Amirbekov, head of the veterinarian service of the Agriculture Ministry, has told Asia -Plus that Deputy Agriculture Minister Mirali Safarov, and Deputy Health Minister, Ziyovuddin Avghonov, are representing Tajikistan at the meeting in Tehran

A two-day senior experts’ meeting opened in Tehran on Sunday [March 12].

According to Amirbekov, participants at the meeting are sharing their experiences in dealing with bird flu.   

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, ECO Secretary General Askhat Orazbay said that the outbreak of bird flu poses a great threat to the international community, according to the IRNA news agency.

Participants at he meeting stressed that every country should be prepared for combating the disease and noted that in addition to financial resources, state-of-art technologies and commitment of regional level were required. 

Meanwhile, World Health Organization representative in Iran , Mobasher Sheikh pointed to the significance of the poultry farms in regional countries and said, "Unless preventive health measures are taken, the subsequent risks will be very high.”  Sheikh added that a great number of local and wild birds have so far fallen victim to the disease causing billions of dollars of material loss, according to IRNA.  Warning that the world in now on the eve of the international outbreak of bird flu, he said that necessary steps should be taken to diagnose and control the disease, produce relevant vaccine as well as increase public knowledge on the issue.