Chickens in north Nigeria with H5N1

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  • #4118
    Martin W

    Who cares re poultry trade, when you can be stupid and slipshod and blame wild birds, as in a new Nature paper suggesting migratory birds behind spread to Nigeria.

    As noted by Richard Thomas of Birdlife:

    The crucial sentence in this paper is in the next paragraph “The
    poultry farming industry is second only to oil production in Nigeria
    and is particularly vulnerable to the introduction of infectious
    agents because chickens are imported from all over the world
    without rigorous biosecurity safeguards.”

    We know Nigeria was suffering a shortage of day-old chicks, and to
    meet this demand day-old chicks were being flown from Egypt to the
    Niger Republic via Kano airport. The Nigerian Minister of Agriculture
    publicly stated that chickens were being flown into Nigeria from
    China on a daily basis.

    I find it astonishing these authors apparently consider the
    coincidence of waterfowl migration routes of more significance than
    trade routes. I wonder how many migrant waterfowl they have seen
    inside closed, “biosecure” commerical poultry farms?

    It’s rather like claiming the recent UK Foot-and-Mouth outbreak
    (first detected on a commerical pig farm) was introduced by flying
    pigs, not trade.

    We’re never going to tackle the spread of the virus if crucial
    evidence implicating the powerful global poultry industry as the
    major vector is ignored.

    – to which, not a lot to add, tho:

    “It’s not clear which species of migratory birds” said Osterhaus (in NY Times item). Well, we can tell them it’s clearly the Tooth Fairy Bird.
    – and can wonder at these researchers evidently lacking access to info on situation in east Asia.

    What’s with so readily ignoring evidence right in front of our eyes (day-old chick smuggling such a prime suspect that even blamed by Nigerian officials, and belatedly FAO/OIE)?
    What were funding sources for the paper, researchers, I wonder.

    She reportedly contracted the virus after buying and slaughtering infected ducks at her home.

    What a surprise … would it be, that the ducks come from a largescale farm with imported birds …

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