from Richard Thomas of Birdlife:

A friend who reads Chinese has been googling around and came across the following interesting article about the dangers of fish farming and influenza – nothing new in that, but it’s the first time I’ve seen it
suggested the fish can catch the disease too.

Taken from a Nanjing website, 5 February 2004. A retired fish farming
researcher, Chen Chuxing is quoted saying feeding chicken manure to fish
has become standard practice nationwide and is practiced (even) in some
“fairly advanced” fish farms around Nanjing. Many farmers “take shortcuts” and don’t even ferment the manure or put it in lime pits
before feeding it to fish; this is “extremely dangerous.”

Fish are susceptible to flu because their digestive system is very primitive and give then bird flu “at second hand,”. Silver carp (huzilian) and other carnivorous fish are fed on chicken guts and feet which “extremely probably” infect the fish.

The best way of avoiding bird flu apart from vaccinating chickens is to
ban feeding fish on chicken manure, and at the very least it must be
inspected and sterilised. If methods do not change there will be a
catastrophic epidemic.


The article is also available on many other sites.

The same message is repeated in a brief story dated Jan 5, 2006, quoting
an unnamed “world famous poultry monitoring organisation.”

Also on this theme: it’s extremely, extremely interesting that following
the publicity by BirdLife on the fish farming-bird flu link (and a BBC
interview involving BirdLife and FAO), the FAO website advice on the
practice of feeding chicken manure to fish now reads:

“Given that poultry manure/poultry litter containing droppings, feathers
and waste feed is a potentially high-risk material, FAO recommends that
the feeding of poultry manure/poultry litter should be banned in
countries affected by or at risk from avian influenza, even if correctly
composted, ensiled or dried with heat treatment.”


“EVEN IF CORRECTLY COMPOSTED”. How very, very interesting…