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Wild Bird Culls may Exacerbate Avian Flu Problem

More than 30 experts from 19 countries holding an international summit on bird flu in Aviemore this week are of the opinion that culls of wild birds are not an answer to the outbreaks of avian flu.

The summit was organised by the Avian Flu Task Force under the UN international convention on migratory species.

Despite the fact that wild birds have been infected in some cases, the scientists insist that domestic birds, the poultry industry and the trade in live and dead poultry play important roles in limiting the spread of the disease in future.

Issuing a post-conference statement, the delegates stressed the need for an early-warning system to alert authorities to future outbreaks.

They also raised concerns about the "continued misplaced practice of indiscriminate culling of wild birds in response to infection," reports the Scotsman.

The scientists say that indiscriminate culling of wild birds is contrary to the recommendations of many international organisations and intergovernmental conservation treaties.

The attempts to eliminate avian flu in wild bird populations through culls may exacerbate the problem by causing further dispersion of infected birds, say the scientists.


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