View Full Version : Bird flu

04-09-06, 01:07 pm
I posted this here because it seemed the most senseable please move it if not.

I was watching the news today and it said that some places are redusing the amount of chicken sold, this means less chickens will be killed.
If bird flu becomes as big as they think millions or birds including a whole lot of poultry will die. Less meat will be comsumed by people who eat this.

What I was wondering and strange question as it is I have been thinking about it alot. Would you prefere the poultry to die from bird flu or be eaten?

This seems like a wierd question but I have been thinking about it alot.
On 1 hand they may not have to suffer being sluaghterd but on the other han dying of bird flu may be painful.

They also said if birdflu continues and grows they may be up to a 20% slump in the amount of poultry consumed after, this is a good thing but still bad when you think about it.

I was just wondering on peoples veiws about how it links in with meat eaters.

04-09-06, 01:18 pm
I'm almost positive that the amount of poultry consumed will be lower for the next few years, but I'm not sure whether it is more humane to slaughter the animals or to have them catch bird flu. I have no idea have painful it is to die of bird flu, but I think if it assumed that it is very painful, then I guess slaughter would be better. They would have to endure a few hours of suffering at the slaughterhouse, but that is probably better than the prolonged pain of dying from bird flu.

04-09-06, 02:13 pm
Last year, when bird flu becasme a serious risk to the UK, the news said that people had stopped buying as much chicken, but the producers of other meats like beef lamb and pork were preparing for higher sales. People were planning to have roast beef for Christmas dinner because a shortage of turkeys was forecast. If people stop eating chicken, I think they will eat other meats instead, I know my family would.:grumpy: The latest news I have seen says that in Fife, where the first outbreak was, people have not stopped buying chicken, and I think that this has a lot to do with the government advice that chicken and eggs are safe if cooked thoroughly. They don't give any advice about stuff like mayonnaise and some ice-cream, which have raw eggs in them, which seems weird and very irresponsible. They may be deliberately avoiding that subject because they do not want to concern people, or maybe the eggs are treated in some way that makes them safe in these foods-I don't know.

I think that it is very likely that if bird flu is found on a poultry farm, all the birds on that farm will be culled. It will probably have to be done there to prevent the risk of the virus spreading. There is no way the birds would be allowed to be left to die naturally. I don't know if it will be less humane than an abattoir (sp?) but it should be quicker and less stressful, because there is no journey to the abattoir involved. It certainly couldn't be much worse. Breaking a chicken's neck outside its henhouse is less stressful to the bird than normal slaughter processes. The government (or DEFRA) won't have the resources to decide which birds are infected. If one case is found on a farm, they will probably all be killed since the risk of spread is too high. Maybe if the birds are in seperate buildings they might exercise a 'wait and see' policy. I think with foot and mouth a few years ago all animals in a herd were killed, just to be on the safe side.

I don't think bird flu is pleasant, but many broiler chickens have such miserable lives that they probably wouldn't notice much since their lives are so bad anyway. You could argue that their quality of life is so low that it might be kinder to kill them and end their misery, but since we can't ask them what they think, we don't know. I feel really bad for all the poultry farmers who have invested in going free-range. For the first time ever here you can get organic free-range eggs in all the major supermarkets, and free-range eggs and chickens have been popular for a while. I hope that bird-flu doesn't undo all this progress.

My issue is not so much with the fact that the chickens will be eaten, although it sucks, but the fact that they are killed in such an unneccesarily stressful way. Even free-range organic etc. chickens are processed alongside battery and broiler chickens in the same factories. The process of getting them there and clamping them upside down into the processing machine is not only cruel, extremely stressful, and unneccessary, but also the stun-gun is not always effective. I'll stop there, but anyone who wants to know the details can look them up online.

The sad fact is that because people are used to being able to buy all food so cheaply compared to fifty or even twenty years ago, as soon as bird flu has passed, even if all poultry in the country was slaughtered, the intensive rearing of poultry would start up again, no better than before, because no-one would want to pay high prices for the meat. All farmers need to undercut their competitors. The government would have to pass a law and set fixed prices or something for improvements to be made.

04-09-06, 03:21 pm
Can I just add that there has been no current "outbreak" of bird flu in the UK in the wild. There was one confirmed case in a (probably migratory) bird found in Fife. Research so far suggests that strange weather conditions probably resulted in the bird drifting from another part of Europe - it was possibly washed up from the sea dead.

There is next to no risk to humans from eating the birds or eggs - the risk is from working with/being in constant close proximity to dead or ill poultry infected with the disease.

It has been completely hyped up by the media and will probably, as it has done with many scaremongered diseases in the past, result in the meaningless cull of thousands of poor animals.

It is really immaterial how the birds are killed - they are doomed to die either way.

04-11-06, 01:45 pm
Oops, you're right. I meant suspected case, not outbreak, too little time to type again. It seems the swan was an isolated incident, which is good. last i heard there was some sort of case on a poultry farm, but I haven't been following it. Like you say, the media has been hyping again, and birds will probably die needlessly, to be replaced by more.

04-11-06, 05:55 pm
I sure hope this doesn't become wide-spread. I live near Rochester, MN, which is famous for the thousands of Canada geese that live in its parks. People are already writing editorials into the paper suggesting that the birds be removed somehow. Believe me, if there's a confirmed bird flu case anyway around here all those geese will be slaughtered.