Meanwhile, H5N1 is becoming endemic in Europe. This means that the poultry may be exposed again and again to the virus, as has already happened in Hong Kong. The longer term approach may be a better vaccine for poultry and humans; short term, culling and other methods must be used. But senior flu researcher Robert Webster in this paper warns against killing migratory birds:
Although culling domestic poultry to contain the spread of highly pathogenic H5N1 virus is considered an acceptable agricultural practice, culling migratory birds is not acceptable to any international authority (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations [FAO], the World Organization for Animal Health [OIE], the World Health Organization [WHO]). The idea of culling migratory birds must be strongly discouraged, for it could have unknown ecologic consequences.
Instead, since highly pathogenic H5N1 has been demonstrated in migratory birds, the poultry industries of the world must adapt measures such as increased biosecurity (Figure 1), the use of vaccines, or both.
There has to be some snappy young underqualified Bush appointee somewhere willing to push "we've got it under control" propoganda on an unsuspecting press and people.
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