China's deputy ministry for agriculture denied a bird flu outbreak was the source of this year's eight confirmed cases of human bird flu, in a question-and-answer session with the public conducted over the Internet April 8.

“In 2009, bird flu will not break out in China on a large scale,” Gao Hongbin told the public, explaining that 99.6% of China's poultry were free of bird flu, and 86.8% tested within acceptable bird flu antibody limits.

In 2009, the Chinese government confirmed one case of bird flu outbreak in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region.

As of March 31, no further outbreaks have been reported.

The online session, which also covered such topics as development of China’s husbandry industry, disease control and domestic farmers’ income growth, was part of a regular series of chats with government officials.