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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic.

STOP FACTORY FARMS = STOP BIRD FLU

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kparcell View Drop Down
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    Posted: February 20 2007 at 9:27am
http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=36651

The new Worldwatch reports presents the science that shows that BF outbreaks almost always originate in factory farms and spread from there to backyard farms.

The report shows that the culling of backyard poultry concentrates more production in factory farms, worsening the problem and depriving poor ranchers of meat and income.

I believe that factory farming should be immediately banned globally, just as was done with ozone-depleting chemicals.
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
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HEALTH:
Report Blames Factory Farms for Bird Flu
Stephen Leahy

BROOKLIN, Canada, Feb 20 (IPS) - Factory farms are responsible for both the bird flu and emissions of greenhouse gases that now top those of cars and sport utility vehicles (SUVs), according to a report released Monday.

Sixty percent of global livestock production, including chicken and pig "confined animal feedlot operations" (CAFOs), now occur in the developing world. Unregulated zoning and subsidies that encourage these CAFOs or factory farms are moving closer to major urban areas in China, Bangladesh, India, and many countries in Africa, said the report, "Vital Signs 2007-2008" by the Worldwatch Institute.

Although there is no definitive scientific proof, those farms are very likely where avian or bird flu started and will continue to be responsible for new outbreaks, said the author of the report, Danielle Nierenberg, a Worldwatch research associate.

In Laos, 42 of the 45 outbreaks of avian flu in the spring of 2004 occurred on factory farms, and 38 were in the capital, Vientiane. In Nigeria, the first cases of avian flu were found in an industrial broiler operation. It spread from that 46,000-bird farm to 30 other factory farms, then quickly to neighbouring backyard flocks, forcing already poor farmers to kill their chickens, Nierenberg writes in the report.

"The growth in factory farms in the developing world is being driven by the fact that there are more people in cities and they have more money to buy meat," she told IPS in an interview.

Rising incomes, populations and demand for meat has resulted in the global poultry population quadrupling since the 1960s to about 18 billion birds today. Once mostly raised under free-range conditions or in backyards by very small producers, most poultry are now kept in large flocks numbering several hundred thousand.

Cramming 100,000 chickens into a single facility to produce low-cost meat also creates the perfect atmosphere for the spread of disease. For that very reason intensive livestock production systems in Europe and North America feed large volumes of antibiotics to chickens, pigs and cows to control diseases. This widespread use of antibiotics has created bacteria that are now resistant to antibiotics and pose yet another human health threat.

Avian flu is a virus, but one that has long been present in wild and domestic birds and is normally harmless to humans. In 2003, a deadly strain called H5N1 evolved, and has now killed 167 people, according to the World Health Organisation.

Last month, England experienced its first outbreak of H5N1 at a huge turkey farm with 160,000 birds and a meat processing facility. Infected turkey meat believed to have been shipped in from the company's factory farms in Hungary is thought to be the original source of the disease, according to British officials.

On Monday, Russian health officials confirmed an H5N1 strain outbreak in five different regions around Moscow. Officials there blamed migrating wild birds even though it is the middle of winter in Russia. Russia's Novosti news agency said scientists traced the source of the virus to a pet market in Moscow.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome and the WHO have also blamed wild birds and backyard flocks for the spread of the virus. As a result, at least 15 nations have restricted or banned free-range and backyard production of birds.

But that may do more harm than good, said Nierenberg.

"Many of the world's estimated 800 million urban farmers, who raise crops and animals for food, transportation, and income in back yards and on rooftops, have been targeted unfairly," she said in a statement. "The socioeconomic importance of livestock to the world's poor cannot be overstated."

There is mounting evidence that there are other vectors of the disease. No wild birds have been detected with the virus in Europe or Africa this winter, yet there have been outbreaks in Nigeria, Egypt and Europe. Illegal and improper trade in poultry is thought to be the reason for these outbreaks.

"Our research shows that the global poultry trade and migratory birds are involved in the spread of H5N1," said Peter Daszak, executive director of the Consortium for Conservation Medicine in New York and an expert on the spread of disease in wildlife.

The combination of large numbers of birds being raised together, the international trade in poultry and migratory birds are a perfect receipt for the global spread of disease, Daszak said in an interview.

However, there is a "bit of blame game going on" as some cite factory farms and others migratory birds as the source of H5N1.

"New diseases are one of the costs of development and growth," he said.

Daszak and colleagues have documented the rise of various diseases such as Ebola, BSE, CJD, HIV/AIDS, and H5N1 bird flu, and believe they are the result of environmental change, which is almost always caused by humans. Because humans share so many pathogens with animals, humans' impact in driving wildlife diseases in turn threatens public health.

"Many of us at the outset underestimated the role of trade," Samuel Jutzi, director of Animal Production and Health at the FAO, told the International Herald Tribune last week.

"The poultry sector is the most globalised in agriculture," Jutzi said. "There is incredible movement of chicks and other products."

The pathogenic H5N1 form of avian flu does not usually develop in wild birds or backyard poultry because their populations are too spread out and diverse, said Cathy Holtslander, project organiser for the Beyond Factory Farming Coalition, a Canadian NGO.

Concentrating huge numbers of animals in small spaces, feeding them the cheapest food possible, centralising and speeding up processing, and distributing the product widely around the world is the perfect recipe for spreading disease, Holtslander told IPS.

The growing numbers of livestock around the world are responsible for 18 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions (as measured in carbon dioxide equivalent), according to the FAO. It's not just methane and manure -- the FAO shows that land-use changes, especially deforestation to expand pastures and to create arable land for feed crops, is a big part. So is the use of energy to produce fertilisers, to run the slaughterhouses and meat-processing plants, and to pump water.

Already surpassing emissions from the world's transportation sector, livestock numbers are rising fast.

"The world's poor probably need more meat, but we in North America and Europe should eat a lot less meat," said Nierenberg.

And it would be better and healthier to get meat from small-scale, localised production systems. Factory farms provide cheap meat only because the real costs in terms of air and water pollution, terrible conditions for workers and animals and so on are not factored in, she said.

"The U.S. infrastructure can barely handle the problems caused by factory farms," Nierenberg said. "I don't know how they can address these in the developing world." (END/2007)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kparcell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 21 2007 at 6:31am
Official Says Factory Farms Not Source of Bird Flu.

Two journalists watched while top WHO official knocked on door at Bernard Matthews. "Anybody in there!?" he demanded. "Nobody in here but us chickens," came the quietly chuckled response. "No bird flu here," said the official as he drove away. "Bird Flu!" said the reporters, "Oh. I thought the story was that a bird flew."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mahshadin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 21 2007 at 9:05pm
This article just touches the surface of the problem and also the corruption involved in misleading information about H5N1 and other deseases that are obviously comming out of these type of operations.

I have personally visited one of these facilities and it is absolutely disgusting. If everyone who eats chickens had to go to these facilities to get your chicken you would DEFINETELY not eat it.
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."   G Orwell
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Judy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 22 2007 at 12:04am
Factory farms are responsible for both the bird flu and emissions of greenhouse gases that now top those of cars and sport utility vehicles (SUVs), according to a report released Monday.

Is he actually saying the chickens are contributing to global warming???!
If ignorance is bliss, what is chocolate?
   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kparcell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 22 2007 at 5:29am
Yes, livestock flatulence and methane from waste is a major contributer to greenhouse gasses in atmosphere. This is known from good science. New technology can turn that into a paying energy sideline, which clouds that debate. But the disease problem has no solution but to stop crowding animals together, and we've run out of time to talk about it any longer. I have no words to describe how I feel about the fact that factory-farmed animals have not reduced hunger because cheap meat still goes on the backsides of rich consumers; and now we see that the meat that has been reaching the poor, the backyard ranch, is being wiped out by the factory farmers claiming that is the source of bird flu.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kparcell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 22 2007 at 5:48am
Here is a link to an article in an Australian newspaper that invites short essays for the online version.

Any of you Aussies think they'd print one calling for a boycott of factory farms?

http://www.smh.com.au/news/heckler/feathers-fly-to-prove-there-is-such-a-thing-as-a-free-lunch/2007/02/22/1171733947893.html
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kparcell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 22 2007 at 6:59pm
Factory Farms Fueling Avian Flu

http://us.oneworld.net/article/view/146498/1/4536
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote keeper1404 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 22 2007 at 7:31pm

I doubt that Factory Farms are the cause of Avian Flu.  It is more likely that Factory Farms are just a big brewing pot for mutations, once the virus infiltrates the farms. 

 
Factory Farms Fueling Bird Flu!  not the cause!
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 22 2007 at 8:25pm
silly me I thought the cause was Qinghai Lake that had all those migratory birds and tens of meter thick bird droppings at the lake.

Roughly the same place that the "spanish flu" started back in 1916/17 (see the Lancet journals of the time)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 22 2007 at 9:34pm
 
We trade... they trade... TRADE... spreading... viruses.... worldwide.
 
 
trade ...WHY?
 
 
HUGE BIRDIE FACTORIES need trade....  amazing chicken consumption.
 
poultry/eggs come to USA from...Russia...China... Mexico... EU.  etc...
 
this trade... country to country... spreads multiple strains of diseases
 
faster than the wild birds can mix it up.
.........................................................................................
 
as the Germans say...
 
Also the trade with birds, in particular chickens, might surely have a certain meaning for the further spread of the virus
 
...........................................................................................
 
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simple or what?
 
 
 
NAI viruses can be divided into highly pathogenic notifiable avian influenza (HPNAI) and low pathogenicity notifiable avian influenza (LPNAI):

HPNAI viruses
 
have an IVPI in 6-week-old chickens greater than 1.2 or, as an alternative, cause at least 75% mortality in 4-to 8-week-old chickens infected intravenously. H5 and H7 viruses which do not have an IVPI of greater than 1.2 or cause less than 75% mortality in an intravenous lethality test should be sequenced to determine whether multiple basic amino acids are present at the cleavage site of the haemagglutinin molecule (HA0); if the amino acid motif is similar to that observed for other HPNAI isolates, the isolate being tested should be considered as HPNAI;
 
LPNAI
 
are all influenza A viruses of H5 and H7 subtype that are not HPNAI viruses.
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 22 2007 at 11:30pm
just found this...interesting. 
 
 
excerpt...
 
 
Factory Farm v Migratory Birds as Vectors

A reference was removed to this study suggesting that industrial poultry operations - not migrating birds - are the main vector for transmission of avian flu: http://grain.org/briefings/?id=194

The Lancet (Vol 6, April 2006, in Leading Edge) has picked up the story and backs the GRAIN study. Here is some relevant, and important, text:

Since mid-2005, the Food and Agriculture Organisation(FAO) and WHO have given wide prominence to the theory that migratory birds are carrying the H5N1 virus and infecting poultry fl ocks in areas that lie along their migratory route. Indeed, this is probably how the virus reached Europe. Unusually cold weather in the wetlands near the Black Sea, where the disease is now entrenched, drove migrating birds, notably swans, much further west than usual. But despite extensive testing of wild birds for the disease, scientists have only rarely identifi ed live birds carrying bird flu in a highly pathogenic form, suggesting these birds are not efficient vectors of the virus. Furthermore, the geographic spread of the disease does not correlate with migratory routes and seasons. The pattern of outbreaks follows major road and rail routes, not fl yways.
Far more likely to be perpetuating the spread of the virus is the movement of poultry, poultry products, or infected material from poultry farms—eg, animal feed and manure. But this mode of transmission has been down-played by international agencies, who admit that migratory birds are an easy target since nobody is to blame. However, GRAIN, an international, non-governmental organisation that promotes the sustainable management and use of agricultural biodiversity, recently launched a critical report titled
 
Fowl play: the poultry industry’s central role in the bird fl u crisis.
 
GRAIN points a finger at the transnational poultry industry as fuelling the epidemic. Over the years, large concentrations of (presumably stressed) birds have facilitated an increased affinity of the virus to chickens and other domestic poultry, with an increase in pathogenicity. Since the 1980s, the intensification of chicken production in eastern Asia has gained momentum, changing the whole dynamic of avian influenza viruses in the southern China epicentre, which has had far-reaching consequences for the rest of the world.

The Lancet story can be found here (subscription only): http://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/section?volume=6&issue=4&section=Leading+Edge Mackinaw 11:56, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

I moved it to the H5N1 impact article in its Political sub-section. Feel free to add to it. Don't worry about proportions, as when and if it gets too big it can be split off into a seperate article. Just don't delete anything that is sourced. Feel free to spin it differently than I have, just try to be NPOV and always supply a neutral source or else clearly identify the source's biases. WAS 4.250 16:59, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
Hmm. The issue is a scientific one, not political (though it does have political implications). GRAIN comes from a political perspective, of course, but their evidence for their claims are scientific - ie studying infection routes, which correlate with transport networks (rail & road) and not migratory paths. If GRAIN is a political group, so they are POV; but when Lancet, a (perhaps the) leading global medical journal agree that the focus on migratory birds as a vector is probably spurious, then it would indicate an issue here more than just spin, but rather science. that is: what are the causes of the outbreak; and what are the vectors of transmission? I guess the wikipedia article does focus on both, so fair enough, but the issue of virus spreading routes (human transport networks and not migratory paths) seem to me of relvance in this article, not on the politics page. Mackinaw 18:54, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
The best scientific evidence is that migratory birds play a part but no one has data on whether it is a small or large part. Any statements saying to ignore the migratory bird transmission path is political not scientific, as there is no scientific data to back up such a claim. The spurious claim that "most" transmission is not migratory is beside the point since most transmission is within countries not between countries and the issue of world-wide spread is an issue of between borders and between continents. A migratory bird just needs to cross a border once and nonmigratory bird transmission can spread it from there. The migratory bird issue was about can we contain it to south east asia or not and with knowledge that wild ducks wee transmitting it , it was clear to scientists that it could not be contained, only delayed. They were right. WAS 4.250 20:13, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

October 2004: Researchers discover H5N1 is far more dangerous than previously believed. "In the past, outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza in poultry began following the primary introduction of a virus, of low pathogenicity, probably carried by a wild bird. The virus then required several months of circulation in domestic poultry in order to mutate from a form causing very mild disease to a form causing highly pathogenic disease, with a mortality approaching 100%. Only viruses of the H5 and H7 subtypes are capable of mutating to cause highly pathogenic disease. In the present outbreaks, however, asymptomatic domestic ducks can directly introduce the virus, in its highly pathogenic form, to poultry flocks."WHO Limiting this conclusion to domestic waterfowl proved to be wishful thinking, as in later months it became clear that nondomestic waterfowl were also directly spreading the highly pathogenic strain of H5N1 to chickens, crows, pigeons, and other birds and that it was increasing its ability to infect mammals as well. From this point on, avian flu experts increasingly refer to containment as a strategy that can delay but not prevent a future avian flu pandemic. November 2004: The U.S.'s National Institutes of Health's (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases's (NIAID) Influenza Genome Sequencing Project to provide complete sequence data for selected human and avian influenza isolates begins.Nature article: "Race against time" from Global spread of H5N1 WAS 4.250 20:18, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

OK makes sense. One point though - cross-border transmission *has* been linked to transport of domestic chickens, eg Nigerian imports of day-old chicks from China & Turkey (ref: same Lancet article).Mackinaw 16:38, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes. And not just live poultry. Check out Environmental survival at Transmission and infection of H5N1 and you'll see why everything from frozen chicken to chicken**** (or even things just contaminated with chicken****) are potential sources of spread. Chickenfeathers from chickens that died weeks ago can carry live H5N1! Trucks must get their tires decomtaminated when moving from an H5N1 contaminated area. Also I read that some chicken farms' chicken**** is used as food for fish farms where migrating ducks frequent picking up the H5N1 from the **** (this example was from China, but other countries probably do this too). It's all interwoven and pointing a finger at one piece of the puzzle and saying ignore that piece is not helpful but is merely propaganda. WAS 4.250 17:46, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
agreed. though the worry is if there's not enough finger-pointing at major source of problems, which is propaganda of a different kind. but the wikipedia article seems to cover all bases, so that's not a worry here - though it does seem to be a problem in most media coverage. Mackinaw 19:03, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kparcell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 23 2007 at 3:18am
Thanks Ann

That's a good piece of science writing (http://grain.org/briefings/?id=194) and the smoking gun that proves that

Factory farming is cause of BF
Industry is lying
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 23 2007 at 2:27pm
I don't like factory farming but it does seem to me that Free Range Poultry
farming would have to be far more dangerous than factory farming because
of the potential for stock to mingle with wild birds.

Indeed the only way to stop contact with wild birds in to enclose the
poultry in some sort of structure .
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 23 2007 at 3:06pm
What makes me wild is driving by a farm where the chickens are running
around the pigs :/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2007 at 4:49am
Originally posted by AnnHarra AnnHarra wrote:

What makes me wild is driving by a farm where the chickens are running
around the pigs :/
  How things spread ....   Welcome to H4N6.
 

Isolation and Characterization of H4N6 Avian Influenza Viruses from Pigs with Pneumonia in Canada

Alexander I. Karasin,1 Ian H. Brown,2 Suzanne Carman,3 and Christopher W. Olsen1,*

Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin---Madison, Madison, Wisconsin 537061; Veterinary Laboratory Agency---Weybridge, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3NB, United Kingdom2; and Animal Health Laboratory, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario N1H 6R8, Canada3

Received 16 May 2000/Accepted 14 July 2000

In October 1999, H4N6 influenza A viruses were isolated from pigs with pneumonia on a commercial swine farm in Canada. Phylogenetic analyses of the sequences of all eight viral RNA segments demonstrated that these are wholly avian influenza viruses of the North American lineage. To our knowledge, this is the first report of interspecies transmission of an avian H4 influenza virus to domestic pigs under natural conditions.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 25 2007 at 5:11am
 These cases and deaths all were reported to have had close contact with chicken and contracted H5N1 from that close contact .
Confirmed human cases of avian influenza A/(H5N1) since 2003
(Data as of 19 February 2007)

Cases Deaths
Country 03 04 05 06 07 Total 03 04 05 06 07 Total Comments
Azerbaijan 0 0 0 8 0 8 0 0 0 5 0 5 No new case reported since 11 April 2006.
Cambodia 0 0 4 2 0 6 0 0 4 2 0 6 No new case reported since 6 April 2006.
China 1 0 8 13 0 22 1 0 5 8 0 14 Latest case confirmed on 10 January 2007 in Tunxi in Anhui Provincewith onset of symptoms on 10 December 2006. The patient was discharged on 6 January.
Djibouti 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 No new case reported since 11 May 2006.
Egypt 0 0 0 18 4 22 0 0 0 10 3 13 New case confirmed on 19 February 2007. The case is a 5-year-old boy. He was admitted to hospital with symptoms on 14 February, and his condition remains stable. The boy was exposed to sick birds one week prior to the onset of symptoms. Contacts of the boy remain healthy and have been placed under close observation.
Indonesia 0 0 19 56 6 81 0 0 12 46 5 63 Latest fatal case confirmed on 29 January 2007 in Magelang District (Central Java Province). The case is a 6-year-old girl. She developed symptoms on 8 January 2007 and died in hospital on 19 January. Initial investigations into the source of her infection indicate exposure to dead poultry.
Iraq 0 0 0 3 0 3 0 0 0 2 0 2 No new case reported since 19 September 2006. Latest case, retrospectively reported, occured in March 2006.
Nigeria 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 Fatal case confirmed on 3 February 2007 in Lagos. The case is a a 22-year-old woman. She died on 16 January 2007. The initial positive test findings from a laboratory in Nigeria were confirmed by the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza in London. Further investigations are under way to identify the source of her infection.
Thailand 0 17 5 3 0 25 0 12 2 3 0 17 No new case reported since 27 September 2006.
Turkey 0 0 0 12 0 12 0 0 0 4 0 4 No new case reported since 17 January 2006.
Vietnam 3 29 61 0 0 93 3 20 19 0 0 42 No new case reported since 14 November 2005.
  4 46 97 116 11 274 4 32 42 80 9 167  
Source: WHO

Table production: DG SANCO - Health Threat Unit
http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_threats/com/Influenza/ai_current2_en.htm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kparcell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 25 2007 at 3:02pm
Ross

The facts show that BF starts in factory farms and spreads to backyard poultry operations from factory farms, and that wild birds are not the significant carrier they were recently thought to be.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 25 2007 at 3:14pm
Kparcel - The facts show that bird flu is  carried by wild birds . Clearly if they are allowed to mingle with poultry there is likely to be cross infection .

I am not saying anything about factory farms other than some how it
is necessary to seperate wild birds from poultry and the only way that I
can see to do that is to enclose the poultry in a shelter.
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