The key international organisations fighting bird flu have agreed a global strategy preventing the disease spreading worldwide and jumping species to humans.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, the World Health Organisation and the Office International des Épizooties (animal diseases) approved the plan for national governments and international organisations at a conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Delegates said priority should be given to small-scale farms and back-yard flocks, the scene of most human cases. Recommendations included educating farmers about infections and changing practices; segregating different species and preventing intermingling with humans; compensating farmers who report suspected avian influenza outbreaks; and vaccinating poultry in high-risk areas.