BIRD FLU – Wild Birds or the “Factory Poultry Farms”?

BIRD FLU –  Wild Birds or the “Factory Poultry Farms”? 
The role of migratory birds and of poultry trade in the dispersal of highly pathogenic H5N1 is still the topic of intense and controversial debate.
On one side we have the mighty poultry farming sector, applying all kinds of pressure to absolve the “factory farms” from any blame for the increasing number of outbreaks of the H5N1 and other viruses.
From the Poultry farming sector’s point of view it is the wild birds, that bring the virus from the bird flu afflicted countries and infect the domestic poultry.
On the other side, we have equally passionate arguments from those who believe that it is the “factory farms” think Barnard Matthews, that are to blame for creating the un-natural conditions that result in the growth of the viruses.
Below is a “discussion” from the Virology Journal,  in a “provisional PDF document”:
What it is saying is that they are still talking about this and not ready to say one way or another!
Then there is an article from PETA, :
PETA warns of deadly link between Factory-Farm Filth and Bird Flu
Here is the article:

BirdFlu NewsFlashes Dec 11, 2007

Additional Bird Flu Victim Tissue Samples For Indonesia

There is yet another human death resulting from the Bird Flu virus in Indonesia.

A 28-year-old woman from the outskirts of the Indonesian capital has been confirmed as dying of bird flu, raising the toll in the nation worst affected by H5N1 to 92, the health ministry said Tuesday.

The victim, named Mutiah, lived in the satellite city of Tangerang, just west of Jakarta, where three other bird flu deaths have been reported since October.

Mutiah, who sold ornamental plants has died here with officials suspecting she may be the nation’s 92nd bird flu death, an official from the agriculture ministry said Tuesday.

Two laboratory tests on the woman, who died on Monday at a hospital in Jakarta, showed that she was infected with the highly pathogenic virus, a statement from the ministry’s bird flu information centre said.

Unkind people in Indonesia are (no doubt maliciously) suggesting that the Indonesian Health Minister, Siti Supari is now boasting the largest amount of tissue samples in the world, from the Bird Flu victims, in the Indonesian Bird flu Human Tissue Bank.

Bird Flu case suspected at South Korea Poultry Farm.

Here we go again!

Even though its neighbour is protected from the Bird Flu virus due to the devine powers of its dear leader, South Korea has no such protection and has once again succumbed to the killer virus.

A report today Tuesday, from Reuters (Yonhap news agency)  tells us that ducks at a poultry farm tested positive for an antibody to a bird flu virus.

There was no information on which strain of bird flu, at the farm in Paju, around 24.85 miles north of Seoul, had been identified. Results of further testing should be known in about two weeks, a local official told Yonhap news agency.

South Korea’s agriculture ministry was unable immediately to confirm the Yonhap report.

Bird flu outbreak reported from farm in Russia’s Rostov region

A total of 35,000 chickens have died of flu at the Gulyai-Borisovskaya farm since December 5. The farm had 500,000 chickens. Lab tests confirmed it was the bird flu.

Marina Abramchenko, a spokeswoman for the local emergencies ministry said Tuesday.

Marina Abramchenko said the birds started dying November 29 from the lethal H5N1 virus at the farm, which holds some 500,000 birds, adding that quarantine restrictions have been introduced in the area.

“We have received the preliminary results of analysis,” Abramchenko said adding that the results showed traces of the H5N1 virus.

How to find the cheapest Christmas turkey in UK?

No. It is not by calling Barnard Matthews for one of his “Turkey Specials”.

It is suggested by “This is Money” (Part of the Daily Mail group) that even though the availability of organic birds in the UK has been hit, elsewhere the predictions that the price of a turkey would soar have failed to materialise.

After the recent bird flu outbreaks in the UK, there were fears that the cost of Christmas lunch could rocket this year – with Waitrose announcing it would have no organic turkeys this year. But while the availability of organic birds has been hit, elsewhere predictions that the price of a turkey would soar have failed to materialise.

British Lords to look in to the spread of infectious diseases

The British Lords have now decided to examine the effectiveness of action by intergovernmental organisations, to control the spread of infectious diseases.

Their Lordships are to examine how cross-border policy issues are being addressed through UK membership of intergovernmental bodies.

The Labour peer Lord Soley, Chairman of the new Committee, said:

“Infectious diseases are no respecters of national frontiers.  Much good work to prevent or control them is being done by a range of intergovernmental organisations of which the UK is a member.

“Our Committee wishes to assess how effective these efforts are proving to be and how well coordinated they are. We also want to see what intergovernmental preparations are being made to cope with emerging diseases.

“We will be focusing initially on HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis and Avian Influenza, all of them actual or potential killers on a large scale.

Of course with the recent accusations of “Money for titles” leveled at the British Government, added to the practice of the ex Prime Minister Blair of “stuffing the House of Lords with his labour cronies”, the Noble House of Lords is considered by some, to be not as NOBLE as it once was!

The real cost of the British Bird Flu outbreak

This has not been a great year for the British farmer.

The repeated (though thankfully limited) outbreaks of the Foot and Mouth virus, the Blue Tongue virus and of course the highly pathogenic Bird flu H5N1 virus.

As the Chinese say, these have been interesting times for the Brits and the new Prime Minister is rapidly getting to be known as “Bad Luck Brown”!

The current Bird Flu virus seems to be restricted to a relatively small area with “only” five farms proving to have the dreaded virus in the poultry flocks.

Nearly 29,000 birds had been culled on five farms, all run by Redgrave Poultry and managed by the same five staff, in the official response to the outbreak.

But the real toll is much higher. One hatchery alone voluntarily gassed 190,000 chicks because it did not want to move them outside the restricted area, according to NFU poultry board chairman Charles Bourns.

This hatchery was probably not alone in taking very drastic action, while there have also been problems in getting eggs to hatcheries from farms and in getting birds to slaughter due to the restrictions in place, Mr Bourns added.

Mr Bourns said it was ‘encouraging’ there had only been two confirmed cases and he was ‘optimistic’ the disease would be contained.

He said there appeared to have been ‘no impact at all’ on poultry sales since news of the outbreak broke, a sign, he believed, that consumers were getting the message the disease did not pose a health risk.

“But there is a huge hidden cost to avian flu outbreaks as a result of the restrictions, which are very necessary, but create all sorts of problems for those caught up in them,” he said.

He predicted the various avian flu outbreaks in the UK in recent years had cost the industry around £100m.

About 40 per cent of the country’s fresh birds come from East Anglia and an estimated 25 million birds are caught up in the restrictions.


Movement restrictions on birds, litter, eggs and by-products apply in 3km Protection Zones around the two outbreaks.

A 10km Surveillance Zone and a wider Restricted Zone covering Suffolk and most of Norfolk. Bird keepers in those zones are also required to house or otherwise isolate their birds from wild birds.

Brit Bird-Flu Agency faces $600 Million Budget Cuts.

Brits are asking: Where Have our Tax Pounds gone?  

In an Alice in Wonderland scenario, the Brits have decided to cut funding from the main agency that takes care of the problems related to Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The British Government has announced that the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is to face a budget cut of almost $600 Million!

The UK has not only been host to the latest Bird-Flu outbreak, but also, recently has had the devastating foot-and-mouth disease, along with the “bluetongue outbreak” which sounds as bad as its effect on the sheep.

The British public and the British Businesses have been paying increasing amount of tax over the last ten years during the Labour Government and find that more and more of their public services are either being reduced, or cut altogether.

Brits are asking where has our money gone?

Here is a very good post regarding the above, from Cllr Tony Sharp,

My Photo

a Conservative Councillor for Brickhill Ward in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire in England. 

(I found Tony’s post in the blogs section of )

Bird-Flu Turkey Factory Farm faces Business Disaster

Bernard Matthews (he of the Bird-Flu inflicted Turkey “Factory Farm” fame) is facing a fight for business survival.

Aww what a shame.

I suppose bad Karma does kick ass sooner or later!

Letting all those Turkeys live in the hellish conditions, through out their short miserable lives, must have some consequences.

Bernard Matthews - Arch Poisoner

Apparently the problem with the company became apparent as the true cost of the bird flu crisis was revealed.

(This even though the British Tax Payer paid Bernard Matthews in full, for all the Turkeys that had died of the Bird-Flu virus at his “factory farm” after the out break of the virus)

The crisis has wiped £42m off the value of the company, sending the business crashing into the red for the first and only time in its history.

Accounts released yesterday by Companies House reveal Bernard Matthews Holdings made a pre-tax loss of £25.9m in 2006, compared with a profit of £22.2m a year earlier.

The accounts show that sales and profits had fallen sharply even before the bird flu outbreak in February, with the company hit by the Turkey Twizzlers controversy involving celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.

But the impact of the bird flu crisis has pushed the company to the brink, forcing the directors to reduce the value of the company by £42m, because of falling sales and rising costs this year.


Are you a worker with the company in fear for your future?

Contact business reporter Sam Williams on:

01603 772447 or email

Disturbing Chick Pix

Some Disturbing Chick Pix from Danny Gilleland, who is a is a staff photographer for the Telegraph, working in the Houston/Peach office.

Here is an excerpt from his blog, link for which is listed below:

We did a story in June of 2006 on bird flu. I went to a Macon County chicken farm to get some chicken house art.

Being in a building with 27,000 baby chicks is a strange experience.

Guess not the oddest situation I have been in for a photograph, but still freakie.

Had to put on paper coveralls, covers over my feet, and a mask.

This was for the chickens’ protection, not mine. Hmmmm.

Standard protective measures to prohibit the spread of bird flu.

Standing in there with 54,000 little beady eyes following you around, the hearing thousands of peeps and breathing the heavy air.

Great idea for Stephen King….the photographer trips and falls and is devoured by tiny raptors.


Brits learn from Bernard Matthews Bird-Flu Outbreak?

“Avian influenza lessons learned report published”!

The British Department for Environment, Food And Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has today published the lessons learned from the report following the outbreak of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza in Suffolk in February this year.

You remember, the Bernard Matthews Bird Flu outbreak in his factory farm in Suffolk England.

So I suppose the two main lessons from the Barnard Matthews Bird Flu outbreak would be:

1. Hold no one responsible for any wrong doing what so ever. Pretend that the virus arrived from no where.

2. Not only that, pay lots of money to the company where the Bird Flu outbreak started for having to kill the birds that had been infected by the virus for which no one was responsible. 

3. While the above policy is carried out let the Government Minister mutter some thing about being “uncomfortable” about it all, for any future deniability that may be needed.

Bernard Matthews - Arch Poisoner

Image Credit Chris Shipton

The above points are thought to be a “given” in the future policy of UK.

There are some other space filling and time wasting stuff that can be seen here: