- Hello Jeff - This virus appears to easily infect
humans, although, avian flu H7N2 is not causing serious illness. The
concern for me is that if the two avian flu viruses ever came in contact
we could have an H5N1 virus picking up "human friendly" genes
from H7N2 thus evolving into the recombined pandemic bird flu virus
the Bush admin and others are expecting.
- The UK will have to be extremely vigilant monitoring
migratory birds and poultry farms for H5N1.
- ProMed Mail
- AVIAN INFLUENZA - UK (WALES): LPAI H7N2, EPIDEMIC CONTROL
- From John Morgan
- The latest BBC bulletin (5-27-07) reports that 11 people
out of 26 possible contacts with H7N2 infected chickens have shown flu-like
symptoms, but none has become seriously ill.
- There have been no official updates to the Welsh Assembly
Government, DEFRA or Health Protection Agency Websites in the last 24 hours.
- Meanwhile, the restrictions at the 1st site are still
in place, and a map of the restriction zone and the regulations are available
- ProMED-mail's archived posting 20070526.1692 states:
"From a subscriber in the UK, we have received the following comment:
'The infected birds which died were bought at Chelford Market from a private
dealer, and there is no traceable paperwork. I find it quite incredible
that after everything that has happened with regard to avian notifiable
diseases in the past few years, auctioneers allow private sales out of
the back of a van to go on at their premises on a sale day without any
formal identification or inspection.'"
- My comment:
- At this point, there has been no official statement as
to whether the sale was out of the back of a van or through the official
livestock auctions that occurred at Chelford Market on that day. A sobering
report from the Farmers Guardian of 9 Jun 2006 starts with the line: "There
is seemingly little in the world of agriculture that can't be bought or
sold at Chelford Market in Cheshire." [See "Chelford market profile"
by Nick Yates at
- As this article goes on to say: "It has made a success
of diversity," no doubt this statement was in praise of the entrepreneurial
spirit of the operation but seems to have acquired a quite different meaning
in the light of recent events.
- It is worth stating that it would not be in the interest
of auctioneers to "allow private sales out the back of a van,"
as they would not be in receipt of any buyer or seller commission, and
this would be anti-entrepreneurial.
- I suspect that it is impossible for them to police all
areas, parking areas and attendees and to prevent private deals being struck.
- Chelford market is under the jurisdiction of Macclesfield
Borough Council, which has released the following statement:
- The auctioneers that run the market have not placed any
notice on their website [http://www.frmauctions.co.uk/index.html>] which
might encourage anyone attending the market either as a seller or purchaser
to contact the authorities. There are 2 links under the poultry section.
One link leads to a report of the total livestock sales for Mon 7 May 2007,
which included 1400 head of poultry. The other is a notice that poultry
sales will be reconvened after a suspension of sales following the Bernard
Mathewes - Hungarian H5N1 outbreak, dated 16 Feb 2007. [It says: "We
have been informed by DEFRA that sales can recommence with immediate effect.
We will therefore be open on Mon 19 Feb 2007, although numbers forward
are likely to be minimal due to lack of time to advertise re-opening. Full
poultry sales service will recommence on Mon 26 Feb 2007." - Mod.AS
- There is no statutory regulation for small keepers or
breeders of poultry to be registered with DEFRA; there is a voluntary registration
scheme. Prior to this outbreak, there was guidance available to poultry
keepers on the Welsh Assembly Government website:
- Readers of the website are reminded that there is a General
license on poultry and other bird livestock movements in force under European
- We should not prejudge any official enquiry or further
statements. However, there seems to have been some unrecorded movement
of livestock that has created a great deal of additional work for DEFRA
and the police and at the same time caused delay in containing the outbreak.
This is very reminiscent of the 2001 FMD outbreak. Since that time, movement
restrictions and documenting animal movements have become an extremely
time consuming and bureaucratic exercise as an UK farmer will confirm.
Other than the price they are paid for their produce, this is one thing
I hear constantly bemoaned by local farmer friends.
- Over the last 30 years or so, many people have moved
into the area to live an alternative lifestyle. Keeping a few chickens
and selling them and their eggs has been a popular source of income in
the area for longer than anyone or any records can tell; the proceeds are
not always declared for taxation purposes (reference: My father, a retired
chartered accountant who practiced for 50 years in the region).
- It is unlikely that "grey marketers" with their
few chickens will suffer any great financial consequences from the inability
of the authorities to rapidly shut down the outbreak, an inability that
is due to the grey marketers' lack of records and unwillingness to come
forward with information. It could not have come at a worse time for the
game farmers of the region who will be selling poults to the commercial
shoots of this region and further afield. Over the next few weeks, both
game farmers and the shoots will be wanting to move hundreds of thousands
of pheasant and partridge poults to woods and game crops in preparation
for the beginning of the shooting season in September. This industry is
one of the economic lynch pins of the winter economy in Wales.
- Communicated by: Dr John Morgan MB BS DipGUM Golden Grove
Trem Dyffryn Red Bank Welshpool Powys SY21 7PT email@example.com>
- We are grateful to Dr Morgan for shedding local light,
based upon firsthand observations, on the Welsh feathered situation behind
curtains and official news.
- ProMED-mail's Rapporteur Mary Marshall adds the following
complementary information: "Traded birds aren't only pet or hobby
birds. They can be small-scale commercial to be traded on or kept for poultry,
eggs or poultry products to be sold locally at farmers markets, or they
can be part of a much wider trade. I am told that Chelmsford Market is
huge and takes place every week and that it draws people from at least
50 miles away."
- Readers might be reminded of a rather similar situation
which unfolded during the HPAI H7N7 outbreak in the Netherlands in 2003,
when "Hobby birds" and commercial as well as non-commercial small-holdings
became a major factor, sometimes obstacle, in the authorities' efforts
to control the epizootic. - Mod.AS
- Patricia A. Doyle DVM, PhD
- Bus Admin, Tropical Agricultural Economics
- Univ of West Indies
- Please visit my "Emerging Diseases" message
- Also my new website:
- Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa
- Go with God and in Good Health