Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Chicken news of the day

Korea just killed 22 million chickens  and other poultry to stop an epidemic of bird flu,

The outbreak, the first in nearly seven months, has been caused by the highly pathogenic H5N6 strain of bird flu, a new type of virus that was first detected in South Korea.

 and now a report at PhysOrg says Iran is doing the same thing

More than 1,000 wild birds, mostly geese, have been found dead in the Mighan wetland in central Iran, the environmental protection organisation told state news agency IRNA on Monday. IRNA said 63,000 chickens, along with 800,000 fertilised eggs and day-old chicks, were culled at a farm in Qazvin province in recent days after an outbreak of the deadly H1N8 and H1N5 strains of the disease. That adds to the 725,000 birds destroyed since mid-November

there have also been outbreaks of at least two strains of birdflu in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. OIE report and map:

the Poultrysite has this page on Chinese outbreaks.

and there are reports that three humans have caught bird flu in China. which is a worry:

The last major bird flu outbreak in mainland China in 2013 killed 36 people and caused about $6.5 billion in losses to the agriculture sector. Delegations from Japan, South Korea and China gathered in Beijing last week for a symposium on preventing and controlling bird flu and other diseases in East Asia, according to China's agriculture ministry website.
we usually don't have problems since we are off the map for migrating birds, but we did have a man die here in 2015 from birdflu caught in China.

the trend for yuppies for back yard chickens might be dangerous if they catch it from a passing bird.

the backyard urban chickens in Asia, often fighting cocks, were forbidden in Jakarta a few years ago after an outbreak. Most human cases of bird flu are from direct contact with the birds.

But the reason for culling is chickenhouses allow an infected bird to spread the disease to the entire flock.

The yuppie animal lovers are aghast at how chickens are factory farmed, but the result is that the poor in the third world can now afford to eat chickens and eggs.

We used to do chicken raising but our chicken houses were flattened by a typhoon a couple years ago and we did not rebuild, since the profit was minimal thanks to cheap imports from Vietnam etc. Luckily, the typhoon hit between "grows" so we didn't have a couple thousand chickens to bury.

But the birdflu is an economic hit to the farmers involved in the industry.

And of course, the real worry is if the flu won't stop at chicken to human, but evolve to human human transmission.

TIME article from 2014 about this. NPR discussion from 2014 here.

why worry? Because some think that the terrible 1918 influenza pandemic was a type of bird flu, and that killed 50 million people, more people than were killed in the first world war.

This is Engineer Hamid, who runs a chicken farm and teaches poultry raising in Iran..


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