Martin W

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

    Report in the Observer includes:

    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”:

    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