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No Need to Target Ducks and Wild Birds

Published fredag 21 april 2006 kl 08.50
An infected bird found in central Stockholm.

According to experts in Sweden and the Netherlands, ducks and other wild birds are carrying the feared H5N1 virus, but there is no need to cull or otherwise target them as part of efforts to control the virus.

Poultry are more important carriers of the virus, and H5N1avian influenza has probably been circulating, unseen and steadily, for years in Southeast Asian flocks.

The experts also said that ”even in areas with significant outbreaks in poultry, virus prevalence in wild birds is low, and the role of these wild birds in spreading the disease is unclear.”

They added however that ”there is at present no scientific basis for culling wild birds to control the outbreaks and their spread, and this is further highly undesirable from a conservationist perspective.”

The H5N1 bird flu virus has spread quickly in recent months, and has been reported in birds in more than 40 countries across Asia, Europe and parts of Africa.

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