Animal Aid

Avian flu bloodbath imminent? Animal Aid demands answers from DEFRA

Posted 13 March 2006

As bird flu rapidly approaches our shores, national campaign group Animal Aid has written to Defra minister Ben Bradshaw demanding a clear statement setting out which animals will be killed, under what circumstances and by what method, in an attempt to control the disease.

Animal Aid characterises the government's response to the 2001 foot and mouth crisis as incompetent and callous. At the height of the foot and mouth panic, sheep were chased across fields and shot, while there were reports of others being drenched in disinfectant before being buried alive.

With another potentially devastating disease, in the form of avian flu, rapidly approaching,Animal Aid director Andrew Tyler states:

'It is vital that we avoid a repetition of the brutal foot and mouth fiasco. Animal Aid wants clear assurances from Defra that, should avian flu reach Britain, there will not be a bloodbath. Avian flu is a disease of the intensive poultry industry. It is as a result of the industrialised and pitiless conditions in which poultry are reared that diseases such as bird flu develop and spread. The only solution to avoid similar diseases from occurring, prevent animals from suffering and protect our health, is to put an end to such exploitation'

Notes to Editors

Questions sent to Ben Bradshaw MP

  1. What will Defra's culling policy be with respect to the two-mile exclusion zone around the site of the outbreak and the six-mile monitoring zone?
  2. What animals will be culled under what circumstances and by what methods?
  3. How will Defra's policy be applied to commercial poultry, animals in sanctuaries, backyard or small holding animals, birds in parks and on ponds; and wild fowl, such as geese, swans and ducks?
  4. What restrictions or even culling orders will be placed upon domestic animals, such as cats and dogs?
  • More information: Andrew Tyler 01732 364 546.
  • We have an ISDN line for broadcast-quality interviews.

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