It’s tedious to have to keep repeating arguments re wild birds not being major carriers of H5N1;

Tedious to continually find wild birds blamed, invariably with scant evidence (as yet, not one H5N1 positive wild bird in Africa);

Tedious that even when a paper shows poultry trade is by far most important for sustaining and spreading H5N1, it’s taken as evidence wild birds are important vectors;

Tedious that for many officials, wild birds are so quickly and readily blamed (round up all the usual suspects).

And yet, it’s important as there are conservation implications, in turn with implications for people.

For to some officials, it now appears “biosecurity” should involve clearing/culling wild birds, by straightforward hunting, as well as deterring breeding, even draining wetlands. (Mao tried wiping out “sparrows” in China as they were supposedly pests; proved a major blunder.)

Unnecessary fear has been stirred far too widely.

So yes, it’s tedious, it’s frustrating.
But those wild birds were not responsible for creating the strains of H5N1, yet directly and indirectly wild birds can become victims;
wild birds have no voice of their own. (Nor any huge, powerful lobby group behind them.)


Post edited by: martin, at: 2006/02/13 01:03