Martin W

    Post made to birdforum.net, by Mike Kilburn of HK Birdwatching Society:

    Another interesting discovery in Hong Kong. A friend of mine has reviewed the data on H5N1-infected birds in Hong Kong and found that in the last 2 years all the birds infected are either commonly kept as cagebirds, commonly released by Buddhists to gain spiritual merit, or urban raptors and scavengers which would be likely to prey on sick or dead birds.

    Even more interesting . . .

    Of the 10 H5N1-positive birds this year 8 (80%) were found within a 3km radius of the Mong Kok Bird Market and 7 (70%) within 1km!

    Of the 15 cases last year the figures were 7 (47%)within 3 km and 4 (27%) within 1km.

    During the same period not a single bird was discovered with H5N1among the thousands of birds tested at Mai Po.

    Does this not suggest what the source might be to anyone?

    Apparently not to our government’s health officials, vets or conservation staff

    Interesting facts:
    1. Mong Kok is one of the most densely populated places on the planet.
    2. The bird market remains open and birds continue to arrive in Hong Kong
    3.Our Health Minister has publicly spoken out in defence of the livelihoods of the bird sellers and has not closed the market. (priorities a la DEFRA?)
    4. UN figures suggest around 1 million birds are traded through HK every year
    5. A recent HK University study suggested an additional 600,000 were coming in annually from China without regulation, inspection or quarantine
    6. Our Government CITES officers monitor a paltry 40,000 imported birds per year
    7. Two Silver-eared Mesias – the bird which brought H5N1 to the UK last year were found with H5N1 just 200m from the Mong Kok Bird market earlier this month.

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