Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Avian flu: Shut down wild bird markets, experts say

04.02.2004


A group of scientists and wildlife health experts from the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) say that closing Asia’s wild bird markets would reduce the spread of Avian flu. The markets place tens of thousands of wild and domestic birds in close quarters, allowing diseases to make the jump between wild animals, livestock, and ultimately humans, WCS says. The group also expressed concern that policies calling for widespread killing of birds living in the wild to prevent disease would do more harm than good.



According to WCS, which operates conservation programs in more than 15 Asian countries, wild birds are caught, usually by rural hunters, then brought together in large numbers often outside their natural range, and put in contact with other animals and people that have little immunity to diseases they might be carrying.

"The birds are caged in stressful, unnatural and often unhygienic conditions during transport and in the markets themselves where they are forced to stand beak to beak with both wild and domestic birds, and handled by humans - all providing the ideal conditions for transmission of disease," said Dr William Karesh, Director of the WCS Field Veterinary Program.


The trade in wild birds for the pet and songbird trade in Asia is vast. For example, in Bangkok’s weekend market during 25 weekends in one year alone, 70,000 birds representing 276 species from Asia Australia, Africa and South America were sold. In a single market in Java, Indonesia, between half a million and 1.5 million wild birds are sold each year

"The wild bird trade in Asia is conducted on an extremely large scale, and is highly fluid," said Dr. Elizabeth Bennett, WCS’s director of hunting and wildlife trade. "The one common theme is that wild birds are being caught, sold and transported in very large numbers, and that effective controls, both in terms of laws and enforcement of those laws, are currently weak across much of Asia".

WCS says that one of the easiest and most obvious ways to reduce the threat of avian flu spreading both globally and regionally through the wild bird trade is to close down the wild bird markets within Asia, and for airlines to stop carrying large numbers of animals over large distances for commercial markets. The EU has already banned the import of pet birds from Asian countries where avian flu has been detected.

WCS also says that one proposed solution of killing the free-ranging wildlife will not solve the problem, and can have many unforeseen repercussions. For example, large-scale killing of sparrows and crows during the Great Leap Forward in China in the late 1950’s resulted in failed rice crops and massive famine because the birds had actually been controlling pests.

Dr Robert Cook, Vice President of Wildlife Health at WCS , said, "In almost all cases, eradication schemes are not cost-efficient or effective means to reduce disease spread when compared to health education, sanitation, and controlling animal movement."


CONTACT:

Stephen Sautner (1-718-220-3682; ssautner@wcs.org)
John Delaney (1-718-220-3275; jdelaney@wcs.org)

Stephen Sautner | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wcs.org/

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Waste in the water – New purification techniques for healthier aquatic ecosystems
24.07.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

nachricht Plenty of habitat for bears in Europe
24.07.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Staying in Shape

16.08.2018 | Life Sciences

Diving robots find Antarctic seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide in winter

16.08.2018 | Earth Sciences

Protein droplets keep neurons at the ready and immune system in balance

16.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>