NEWS AND CURRENT EVENTS
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The Real Deal: Tagging Terrorist Chickens
Have you heard about the National Animal Identification System (NAIS)? The radio ads feature a “farmer” telling us how hard it is to make a living farming today - harder than it was for Momma and Daddy. Worse yet, now we’ve got the risks of all these new diseases. But - golly, golly, gee -- the government is going to help. They’ve come up with a voluntary program to register our farms and animals to protect us and our animals from diseases. All good Americans will sign up.
Characteristically, the radio propaganda-speak beareth no likeness to the tru
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SPPA on Avian Influenza
Rare poultry breeders defend flocks against Avian Influenza
The Society for the Preservation of Poultry Antiquities endorses all efforts to keep poultry and humans safe and healthy. The current fears of influenza pandemic caused by H5N1 avian influenza virus are unfounded and should not lead us to kill healthy birds.
The public is not in danger. Although the virus has infected and killed some people in Asia, it has not adapted easily to infecting humans. It has thus far caused less than 100 deaths, compared to the anticipated 40,000 deaths expected in the coming flu season in the U.S. from usual strains of influenza.
Dr. Donald Maki, infectious diseases chief at the University of Wisconsin - Madison counsels calm.
"It's been around for almost three years with lots and lots of opportunity to do so (transmit from person to person) and it hasn't happened yet," he said. "That suggests it's not an easy adaptation genetically."
This strain of Avian Influenza has not infected U.S. flocks. If it does, it is unlikely to pass to humans. It is deadly to birds and will be detected and eliminated.
Small flocks are among the most isolated of animals with regard to Avian Influenza, according to Dr. Rob Porter, veterinary pathologist for the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. Right now, since there is no H5N1 Avian Influenza on this continent, there is no danger that they will be infected.
Killing healthy birds to avoid the remote possibility of future infection is unjustified. Small flock owners are encouraged to contact the SPPA, firstname.lastname@example.org, 608-243-8178, if their flocks are threatened. Ask for time to get a second opinion. SPPA will do all it can to help you.
Vaccines are effective against Avian Influenza in birds. Urge the USDA to control outbreaks with vaccination, not slaughter.
Write to the Andrew R, Rhorer, Director, National Poultry Improvement Plan, USDA, APHIS, VS, 1498 Klondike Road, Suite 101, Conyers, GA 30094, your Senator and Congressman and your state agencies and representatives to express your opinion as policies are being developed. Feel free to adapt material from this press release for your letters.
This was posted on many of the poultry boards and lists.
The USair and American contracts are being terminated NOW, and as of March 5 (THIS Saturday), Delta will no longer TRANSFER ANY kind of mail from one plane to another (they are closing all their transfer stations to save money). This means people shipping birds will have to do a lot more research and work closely with their local airport postal center to ship chicks or birds. It won't be impossible, but it will be a lot harder than it used to be.
KEEPING the legal RIGHT to send live mail will be harder than living with the short-term solutions currently being worked out.
The hatcheries are all supporting the Bird Shippers of America (BSA), which anyone can join. If you call the number at the bottom of their home page, it is the main number for Murray McMurray hatchery.
Bird Shippers of America
PLEASE join BSA even though it costs $50 (think how much you stand to lose if you can't ship birds any more!) It took HUGE amounts of lobbying (which isn't cheap) to resolve the problem in 2001, but it WAS resolved by these same people. AND if they ask you to, PLEASE send all the emails and letters they recommend.
To resolve this problem, BSA needs both financial support and EVIDENCE of commitment and support from a broad base. Thousands and thousands of people buy or ship birds every year. If they aren't on one of these lists, they may not know about the new crisis till it's too late.
BSA is trying to update their web page, the man who normally maintains it is at home very sick, or the updates would already be up there.
I just got off the phone with Murray McMurray himself (he is Chairman of BSA). He says BSA really NEEDS support now to work on this, otherwise the government may not believe enough voters care about it for them to need to worry about our shipping needs.
USair and American could be reinstated to carry mail for the PO by late March or early April IF they improve their performance to 90% acceptable. Since they are lucrative contracts, color them motivated.
Two shipping companies (Airborne and AirTran) have agreed to subcontract to Northwest (which does not, itself, carry live mail) to carry live mail for Northwest. I don't know when that will start, but soon.
Even though Delta will not transfer mail (to another Delta flight OR another airline), you are not limited to direct flights on Delta. If your PO can find a flight from your local airport that takes live mail and connects TO Delta, Delta will still accept live mail transferred to them by another airline, so they can be used for the last leg of the trip.
Mr McMurray said it won't be easy, but he expects things to be much better by mid-April, IF enough people join BSA, and write letters and emails to their congress people and the postal service, stating that they want assurance of continued safe, prompt delivery of live mail, and for the PO to be required to make that a condition of future contracts, so they can provide quick delivery anywhere in the country.
Exotic Newcastle Disease News Alert
The U.S. Department of Aviculture (USDA) issued an extraordinaryemergency January 8, 2003, stating that it has expanded quarantine boundaries for the exotic Newcastle disease to boundaries with exotic Newcastle disease-positive flocks – Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego. Additional counties include Santa Barbara, Ventura, Imperial and Orange. It also quarantined portions of infected counties that were not previously under quarantine. USDA and the California Department of Aviculture (CDFA) have been working together with the poultry industry and residents of affected counties to prevent spread of the disease. The expanded quarantine creates a buffer zone around exotic Newcastle disease infected sites. Commercial poultry producers within the quarantine zone must comply with a mandatory reporting system that identifies increased mortality, decreased egg production and any clinical symptoms associated with exotic Newcastle disease.
Exotic Newcastle disease and Pet Birds
According to the CDFA Web site, bird species under quarantine, and therefore prohibited from being moved out of the quarantine aforementioned quarantine zone, are chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, grouse, partridges, pheasants, quail, guinea fowl, pea fowl (peacocks), doves, pigeons, swans, and ratites (emus, ostriches, rheas).
Can my bird club hold it regular events?
Any gathering of birds increases the risk of spreading disease. TheCDFA strongly recommends that no bird of any species be moved into, within or out of the quarantined area. Events such as bird marts and exhibitions of caged birds and gatherings that exclude species listed in the quarantine may continue. Be aware though that the
CDFA will immediately quarantine birds if exotic Newcastle disease issuspected at a bird event. This quarantine will remain in effect until exotic Newcastle disease is eradicated from California. If exotic Newcastle disease is diagnosed, the CDFA will serve individual notices for the destruction of infected and exposed birds and bird products.
For more information or to report suspicious cases, call the CDFA at (800) 491-1899 or visit www.cdfa.ca.gov.
Fireplaces help warm your family's home, but can be dangerous if not properly attended.
Please follow these steps to keep your home safe and warm in the dead of winter:
1. Check your fireplace and chimney often and keep them clean and in good repair.
2. Always use a good fire screen in front of the fireplace.
3. Keep the damper set so the draft (flow of air) will remove all smoke and gases.
4. Keep the area near the fireplace clear of materials like papers, books, toys, etc.
5. Never leave a fire unattended, and make sure the fire is completely out before going to bed or leaving the house.
6. Always keep a fire extinguisher close at hand. Make sure everyone knows how to use it. Keep emergency phone numbers on or next to the telephone.
7. Do not stack artificial logs in the fireplace like you would real wood. .Do not use your fireplaceif it has loose bricks or needs to be cleaned.
8. Do not burn charcoal, coal or plastic materials (wrap, cups, plates, etc.). .Never burn garbagein the fireplace.
9. Never use gasoline or other such liquid to start a fire.
10.Do not allow small children near the fireplace.
Reproduced from Illinois Country Living magazine.
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