Martin W

    Might guess the virus would change if migration – notably, towards a less virulent strain.

    from Richard Thomas of Birdlife, re the FAO guff:

    I’m rather surprised to see someone describe this as a “reasonably balanced assessment of the Nigerian situation.”

    It somehow fails to mention several relevant facts, such as the 150 km from the first affected farm to the Hadeja-Nguru wetlands; the presence of “flu-free” farms between the wetlands and the farm; the flu-free farm less than 5 km from the first affected farm with, wait for it: ostriches in the dangerous open air; the testing of wild birds at Hadeja-Nguru last October – all of them negative; nor the lack of die-offs in wild birds reported there this winter.

    Despite the Agriculture Minister saying several times the virus arrived with imported poultry, all we get is one brief paragraph:

    “The introduction of the disease through illegal trade cannot be excluded. The introduction could have happened through illegal importations of poultry or more likely poultry products. No data are available at the moment to confirm or rule out this possibility.”

    No data available? That’s surprising. Has the government’s Special Programme on Food Security (launched in January 2002 and jointly implemented with the FAO) really not looked into this issue?

    The programme includes:

    • The establishment of Trans-border Animal Disease Information Implementation (Phase 1 and Phase II)
    • The establishment of a Ministerial Animal Disease Emergency Committee.