Mysterious outbreak in sealed Suffolk shed, UK

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  • #3406

    Hi, seems to me unexplainably like the outbreak on Ruegen / Germany in 2006.

    Quote:
    [.. It is not yet clear how the animals were infected with H5N1, although Britain’s deputy chief veterinary officer said it may have been carried by a wild bird. ..]

    The poultry flocks in their (nearly perfect) isolation were infected by wild birds? And where was the Virus in the meantime, between march 2006 and today? Best greets, Werner 

    #4425
    imported_Martin
    Participant

    Just goes to show the Tooth Fairy Bird is a mysterious creature!

    Martin

    #4426

    Hi Martin,

    maybe there’s an scientific explanation of the Tooth Fairy Bird. Must be an new species with nonlocal abilities, so that an cooperation between the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute and the CERN (www.cern.ch) is indicated. The Tooth Fairy Bird beams from one location in zerotime to another, that’s it.

    Because the known problem to measure the spin in both axis of photons the Tooth Fairy Bird is, beyond that, unfortunately invisible.

    I believe that i should inform Thomas Mettenleiter about these new realizations immediately. ;)

    Best greets,
    Werner

    Post edited by: Werner, at: 2007/02/04 15:56

    #4427

    In addition, the Tooth Fairy Bird must be an very small but courageous creature:

    Quote:
    Professor Oxford: “The most likely explanation is that a small bird has come in through a ventilation shaft.”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/suffolk/6327193.stm

    Werner

    Post edited by: Martin, at: 2007/02/07 08:13

    #4428
    imported_Martin
    Participant

    Just sent following to UK flu expert Prof John Oxford’s email address:

    Quote:
    Dear Professor Oxford: Seen BBC quoting you as saying wild bird likely carried H5N1 into the sealed shed in Suffolk. Hope you were misquoted; otherwise, seems you have woeful (very outdated?) lack of knowledge re H5N1 and wild birds. I’m birder/conservationist, based in Hong Kong; studied bird migration, and done much on H5N1 and wild birds, inc in 2003/04 when spread in Asia largely ignored in west. No wild bird species known to be able to survive and sustain and spread H5N1 (yes, quite different for natural wild bird flus – but we’re not talking about generic info of yesteryear here). I’m attaching article I wrote on the Tooth Fairy Bird: tongue in cheek, but inc some science. Also a strong paper, which includes evolutionary biology. (In Waterbirds; not attached here.) Hope these are of some interest. – not attaching here; but you can read New to Science – the Tooth Fairy Bird on this forum. Given Dead Ducks Don’t Fly (and dead swans won’t fit thro narrow entrances to BM’s turkey shed), how might H5N1 have travelled from Hungary to UK? As you’ll be aware, crates etc long known to carry bird flu: "In the United States in 1925, "People were shipping poultry to New York live bird markets. Then dirty, contaminated crates were being shipped back." This contributed to the spread of a highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreak."

    Puzzling that you should blame wild birds so readily, and without any scientific basis. (Indeed, you are wonderfully vague in blaming "wild birds" – this is woeful for a prominent scientist.) Best regards, Dr Martin Williams

    Also sent following to a tv news journalist:

    Quote:
    It’s shocking and troubling that it’s new concept to you re H5N1 being spread by roads etc. Hopefully Richard can be huge help here. I’ve done much on H5N1 and wild birds – since around 2003/04, when spread in Asia blamed on migratory birds, but with nary a shred of decent evidence. This before the west seemed to notice the disease exists. Annoyed me that wild birds so readily blamed. yet had no voices of their own to speak out (while four poultry industry, officials not wanting to admit potential troubles, and industry people not liking ideas of trouble at t’farms). Did a map for this, showing timings etc were quite wrong. Crucially: H5N1 kills wild birds (most). Hard to carry a disease around when it kills you! ("Dead ducks don’t fly" I’ve noted – after email I received from a bird flu expert). Compare regular wild bird flus: mild, which not surprising given must be spread by birds that can fly, even migrate v long distances. No wild bird species shown capable of surviving and sustaining and spreading H5N1. Get vaguge blame of "wild birds"; I wrote attached on "Tooth Fairy Bird". Some tongue in cheek, but there’s science there. (I’ve phd in phys chem, but long been birding, inc migration studies in China). Also attaching a strong scientific paper – if you’ve time, could be big help; this posted to aiwatch group by Richard. Again, no use if can’t find wild bird that can sustain and spread h5n1. Grain report too a big help. Also a map someone sent me on Turkey outbreaks last year: cf highway and outbreaks. Declan Butler of Nature did H5N1 maps w Google Earth; inc one showing some apparent correlation w spread west last winter, with Trans-Siberian Railway. (A question: as it spread west, why was it near absent from much of Asia last winter? No wild migratory birds known infected, from Caspian Sea East – I live in Hong Kong; we’ve a major wetland reserve. Not one case of H5N1 at the reserve itself, despite disease being around here for over a decade, and tens of thousands of waterbirds migrating here each year). Poultry industry well knows even dirty crates etc can spread flu. In one case in US, carried on dirty crates for some distance (a few hundred miles). As Grain notes, money involved in industry huge. Try googling, too, re Joseph Domenech, chief vet of FAO, being annoyed by BBC asking questions – his reply along lines that if can’t farm this way, hard to feed people. Farming promoted by FAO includes feeding poultry manure and even bits of dead chickens to fish in fish farms. H5N1 can survive pretty well in water; rather better at surviving in warmer water than typical flus (after some evolution in warmer parts of Asia, where few wild ducks but many fish ponds?) There is link w farm ducks in Thailand, but even these can’t sustain h5n1 for long term it seems I’ve noticed Bob McCracken, a retired vet, has made noises re flu; readily blamed wild birds w zip decent science. Googled him, and strong links to poultry organisations. interesting, too, that H5N1 variants of concern maybe have ancestor in an h5n1 found a few decades ago in UK poultry (in turkeys if I recall rightly) – hmm, maybe in chicken in Scotland in 1959, tho H5N1 in UK again in 1991 – and that time, was in a turkey Bootiful, just bootiful Martin
    #4429

    Hi Martin,

    well done.

    The latest news related to Bernardmatthews Poultry: According to an OIE spokesman was the H5N1 strain in GB nearly the same as in Hungary, so “It is proven that the Virus was carried by livestock transports”

    http://www.n-tv.de/762489.html

    (Sorry, at this time found only in german)

    Would been better for Professor Oxford to keep silence.. ;)

    greets,

    Werner

    #4430
    imported_Martin
    Participant

    And yet, seems Oxford persists in blaming wild birds; just quoted in Times online, re small bird popping down ventilation shaft.
    Waterfowl are likeliest carriers

    I’ve sent comment (who knows if will appear on site):

    Quote:
    If wild birds in UK were infected with H5N1, we’d see significant mortality.

    No wild bird species shown to be able to survive and sustain and spread H5N1.

    Though of course, “wild birds” are ready scapegoats – the Tooth Fairy Bird persists, and in John Oxford’s brain has now shrunk and popped down a ventilation shaft (caught a deadly disease in Hungary, flew unseen and without infecting others, all the way to Suffolk, where it flew right down the shaft, and dematerialised).

    :P

    – but not all media reporting on wild birds only. Seen this info, re report on UK Channel 4 tv news:

    Quote:
    They reported that the H part of the H5N1 in the Suffolk outbreak is very closely related to
    the Hungarian H5N1 strain. (Info from UK Govt).

    Secondly, there have been lorries travelling from north-west Hungary carrying poultry meat
    from SaGa factories (owned by Bernard Matthews) directly to the Suffolk farm.

    When the above was put to the Envt Minister, his reaction was say that the Hungarian
    outbreak and the SaGa farm were a long way away from each other. [True, but the next news
    item was Russia and Japan ban imports of UK poultry…perhaps SE to NW Hungary isn’t such a
    long distance after all].

    The TV interviewer then asked the Minister why it was that “biosecure” farms were most at
    risk, and quoted a US Govt paper that had come to this conclusion. The Minister had no
    answer to that one…!

    #4431

    Martin wrote:

    Quote:
    And yet, seems Oxford persists in blaming wild birds; just quoted in Times online, re small bird popping down ventilation shaft. Waterfowl are likeliest carriers

    I’ve read the same here in Germany. The best joke was released by the European Union itself: "Possibly sea gulls, which were frequent in the region, would have transferred the virus."

    My comment: Possibly the course of an albatros was diverted by the stubborn low "Kyrill" 2 weeks ago, and blown directly into the ventilation shaft of BernardMatthews. Another version may be that an H5N1 positive greater roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus) – as an effect of global warming – was running from Hungary to GB and captured an waterbike after the assassination attempt at the English coast and is now on the way to Cuba.. Greets, Werner

    #4432

    David Miliband spreads John Oxfords awful stuff: Found this today http://www.agrarmedien.ch/?page_id=1&l=2&node=1&lvl=&navi_array=1&mod=news&news_id=1252

    Quote:
    Great Britain: Search for transmitter As the British environmental minister David Miliband of the BBC on Tuesday said, finding "uppermost priority" has as the H5N1-virus could reach the company. Miliband holds the transmission through a wild bird most probably. About 160 000 turkeys of the enterprise Bernard Matthews had been culled within 48 hours. Around the mast company near getting-clay in the south-east-English earldom Suffolk a three kilometer protected area is valid since the weekend. The British Department of Health, Education and Welfare followed according to BBC-information the council furthermore from experts and increased his stock of the flu medicine Tamiflu. The British authorities keep on assuring, however, that for people hardly a danger exists.

    I think it is necessary to find out the lobbyistic background of such "reportings". The blog of David Miliband:

    (Take a look at the comments on "Bird Flu" too)

    By the Way: New realizations about Tamiflu "Potential Risks Associated with the Proposed Widespread Use of Tamiflu"  Werner

    #4433
    imported_Martin
    Participant

    Hi Werner:

    Many thanks for this info.

    Just checked Miliband’s blog; see there are already comments asking why he’s blaming wild birds.

    I’ve submitted this comment (may take a day before posted, if indeed posted):

    Quote:
    Hi:

    Indeed surprising you blame wild birds, when no evidence whatsoever to substantiate this notion.

    No wild bird species known to be able to survive and sustain and spread H5N1.
    V hard to find a living wild bird with H5N1, which lethal to most creatures it infects; and Dead Ducks Don’t Fly, so aren’t best vectors of flu.
    – hence my suggesting the species being blamed is the Tooth Fairy Bird.

    I live in Hong Kong – around epicentre of H5N1 (albeit of recent strains, which may have ancestor from UK a few decades ago).
    No wild migratory ducks [don’t have geese] yet found here with H5N1. Yet if wild birds were good vectors, shouldn’t H5N1 be rife in our waterbirds?

    If H5N1 were in UK’s wild birds, there would be significant mortality. Or, maybe one Tooth Fairy Bird flew from Hungary to Suffolk, right iinto ventilation shaft of the turkey shed, then dematerialised?

    If you have your secretary email my secretary (well, email me), I’d be happy to send you copy of paper from Waterbirds, with sound science re wild birds and H5N1.
    Armed with science, maybe you can look for real culprit – like, err, a truck from BM’s operations in Hungary.

    Martin

    Post edited by: Martin, at: 2007/02/08 10:57

    #4434

    Hi Martin:

    At this time i am creating a print publication against blaming wild birds, containing a brief history about the upcoming of H5N1 in poultry flocks since 1959 (strain A/chicken/Scotland/59), the media policy and the kind of the published “reportings”, lobbyism of poultry industry and pharma concerns etc.

    I am in contact to Klemens Steiof too (this moment he’s cutted off from any media, observing Aquatic Warbler in Senegal ’til next week, so i think he heard nothing abot the suffolk outbreak) . Thougt i would have finished my publication next week, but may be it would an good idea to extend it (related to Hungary and UK)..

    Werner

    #4435
    imported_Martin
    Participant

    From the Times:

    Quote:
    Bernard Matthews admitted for the first time today the possibility that it may have been responsible for an outbreak of lethal bird flu at one of its turkey farms in Suffolk – but said that its paperwork appeared to prove that it had done nothing wrong.

    Britain’s largest turkey producer is facing an inquiry after it emerged last night that it had imported 37 tonnes a week of partly-processed turkey meat from Hungary despite an outbreak there last month of the H5N1 strain of avian flu that has caused more than 100 deaths in Asia.

    The company is also being investigated for breaking EU hygiene regulations by leaving processed poultry outside sheds at a food processing site on the farm, senior Whitehall sources say.

    After analysis of the virus’s DNA showed that the strains from the UK outbreak in Holton and the Hungarian outbreak were probably identical, Sir David King, the Government’s Chief Scientist, today described the Hungarian hypothesis as the “most likely scenario”.

    Peter Ainsworth, the Shadow Environment Secretary, called today on Defra – the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – to come forward and make a statement about the outbreak and subsequent investigation.

    Mr Ainsworth told BBC News 24: “I think the question for Government is where are the ministers? This is a matter of significant public concern and we have not had anything since Monday from Government ministers on the subject, certainly not about the questions now being raised about the links between Hungary and Suffolk.

    “There is a degree of public anxiety about this and if I was a Defra minister, rather than leaving it to my officials to make explanations, I would want to come forward and say what my position was. There are also questions to be answered about what ministers knew and when, and if they had information last Monday, why didn’t they disclose that information?”

    Bernard Matthews admits ‘possible’ Hungarian bird flu link

    #4436
    imported_Martin
    Participant

    Good article in the New Statesman, by science ed of the times, on tendency for wild birds to be rapidly blamed for H5N1 outbreaks, then details suggesting there are other reasons.

    Quote:
    [re Suffolk outbreak] for Matthews, and his fellow poultry industry moguls, whose factory farms dot East Anglia, there is a more important consolation. This is that both the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the public have been so easily persuaded that wild birds were the likely source of the outbreak.
    Peter Bradnock, chief executive of the British Poultry Council, was quick to offer such an explanation when the outbreak was confirmed as the dreaded H5N1. “The most likely source is a wild bird,” he declared firmly. “Faeces on the concrete outside could have been walked in by a worker or it could have been deposited on the roof.”
    It was a claim without the least shred of evidence. Confirmation of the H5N1 strain had come less than two hours earlier and the scientific investigation had yet to begin. But Bradnock’s suggestions ran far and wide in the national media.

    how likely is it that an infected bird managed first to target a turkey farm and then to bypass all the defences set up to prevent such break-ins?

    Those pushing the wild birds- as-vector thesis often cite the mass outbreak of H5N1 among geese in Qinghai Lake, northern China in 2005. The lake is on an intersection of the migratory routes of many different bird species, so a theory quickly emerged of how the virus was then carried westwards by migratory birds to Kazakhstan, Russia and even Turkey.
    It was an attractively simple explanation, and widely repeated – but the truth was more complex. Qinghai Lake is also at the centre of a thriving intensive poultry and fish-farming industry. The industry is highly integrated – so much so that chicken faeces from the farms are fed to the fish. The farms around Qinghai trade birds and eggs with others in Lanzhou, the source of infected poultry that also caused an outbreak of H5N1 in Tibet, 1,500 miles away.
    Similarly, when avian flu broke out in a village in Turkey in 2005, the poultry industry was quick to blame migratory birds. But once media interest faded, it emerged that a nearby factory farm had been importing birds from the Far East and trucking old chickens to local markets, an equally likely source.
    The global trade in poultry feed is another wild card.

    A wild goose chase

    Post edited by: Martin, at: 2007/02/10 01:18

    #4437
    imported_Martin
    Participant

    The chicken manure is really hitting the fan in the UK.

    Report in the Observer includes:

    Quote:
    The scandal of how bird flu came to Britain has exposed the grubby world of the poultry trade – one that appears unhygienic and under-regulated.

    Last Thursday, The Observer revealed on its website that government officials had actually known for some days that the outbreak of the H5N1 virus, which led to the gassing of 160,000 turkeys in Suffolk, might have been caused by a shipment of meat brought over from Bernard Matthews’ Saga Food plant in Hungary to the company’s plant in Holton, Suffolk.

    For reasons that still remain unclear, no one in the government made this information public even though it had been known to officials in the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs since Monday. Neither Environment Secretary David Miliband nor agriculture ministers Ben Bradshaw and Lord Rooker mentioned it in parliamentary answers on the issue.

    It was for this reason that a Whitehall source came to The Observer to reveal the link, and their unease over the secrecy.

    Grubby scandal shames our poultry industry
    The Observer’s website revealed last week that ministers were kept in the dark about the Hungarian connection to Bernard Matthews’s turkeys. Now the fall-out from H5N1 will hit shoppers, politicians and a multi-billion-pound business

    The Times is also reporting on “scandal”:

    Quote:
    THE government allowed Bernard Matthews to continue importing turkey meat from a bird flu-hit region of Hungary even though it suspected the area was the source of the British outbreak.

    A consignment of 20 tons of turkey was imported last Tuesday from a slaughterhouse in Hungary, three days after avian flu was confirmed at the Bernard Matthews plant in Suffolk.

    Government inspectors knew in advance that Bernard Matthews intended to import the meat from a slaughterhouse only 30 miles away from the Hungarian outbreak – but did nothing to stop it.

    Scandal over ‘bird flu’ imports

    “the grubby world of the poultry trade” has been little exposed to date – tho readers of this forum have known much about it for some time; but now in the spotlight.
    Hopefully, far less easy to readily blame “wild birds” for H5N1 spread.

    And, can maybe reduce panicked silliness, as just in the Philippines – where a sickly heron promptly killed and buried over bird flu fears.
    Suspected bird-flu carrier alarms Sorsogon officials

    Post edited by: Martin, at: 2007/02/11 09:22

    #4438
    Quote:
    “The Sunday Times reported today that the Government allowed Bernard Matthews to continue importing turkey meat from a bird flu-hit region of Hungary even though it suspected the area was the source of the British outbreak.

    A consignment of 20 tons of turkey was imported last Tuesday from a slaughterhouse in Hungary, three days after avian flu was confirmed at the Bernard Matthews plant in Suffolk.

    Government inspectors knew in advance that Bernard Matthews intended to import the meat from a slaughterhouse only 30 miles away from the Hungarian outbreak – but did nothing to stop it.

    A spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) admitted on Saturday that it had the power to block such meat imports but had decided not to do so.”

    “It meant that meat potentially carrying the flu virus was carried straight through protective cordons set up around the Suffolk plant to prevent the spread of avian flu.

    The Hungarian meat was then processed at the plant in Holton, where a near-identical strain of the H5N1 bird flu virus had led to the cull of nearly 160,000 turkeys.

    Investigators from the Food Standards Agency were this weekend checking to see if any of the processed imported meat had been distributed to shops. The investigation could lead to a mass recall of Bernard Matthews products.”

    “On Tuesday the vets were notified by Bernard Matthews about a new consignment of 40 tons of poultry from Hungary. Half was from the company’s headquarters in the northwest, but the other half was from the slaughterhouse in the bird flu-hit southeast of the country.

    Despite the fact that the slaughterhouse in Kecskemet was just 30 miles from the restricted zone, and despite the suspicions over its link to the British outbreak, vets decided not to block the imports.
    On Tuesday the vets were notified by Bernard Matthews about a new consignment of 40 tons of poultry from Hungary. Half was from the company’s headquarters in the northwest, but the other half was from the slaughterhouse in the bird flu-hit southeast of the country.

    Despite the fact that the slaughterhouse in Kecskemet was just 30 miles from the restricted zone, and despite the suspicions over its link to the British outbreak, vets decided not to block the imports.”

    “Mr Miliband denied misleading Parliament about the suspected Hungarian link to the Suffolk bird flu outbreak, insisting that he kept MPs informed of the latest advice the Government was receiving from scientists. He said it was now clear that there had been “a bio-security lapse” at the Suffolk factory farm which allowed contamination to get from a processing plant into the sheds housing live birds.

    A Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs spokesman said that the import of the 20 tons of meat was “perfectly legal”, as it came from outside a 10km exclusion zone and a 30km restriction zone around the site of the Hungarian case.”

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/health/article1364673.ece

    Unbelievably..

    Werner

    Post edited by: Werner, at: 2007/02/11 21:09

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