Sunday, February 26, 2006
The New York Times has an informative article about the spread of the bird flu to Nigeria and France. It doesn't look good when your President is eating chicken to calm people's fears. According to the Times the bird flu seems to be spreading rather rapidly,
The announcement on Saturday that the deadly strain of bird flu was discovered in domesticated turkeys in France has disrupted the country's $7 billion poultry market and raised fears among the French that they could be vulnerable to the disease.
President Jacques Chirac, a former agriculture minister, met with farmers and veterinarians on Saturday morning at the opening of France's annual international agricultural fair and urged calm.
There is no "absolutely no danger in eating poultry and eggs," Mr. Chirac said, eating a chicken dish to press the point. He said that the industry had been "profoundly hurt and disrupted," and that "a completely unjustified sort of total panic" was developing.
For the first time in the fair's 42 years, no live birds are on display.
France had already been reeling from the news that a wild duck, found dead nearly two weeks ago in the department of Ain, the same area where the turkey farm is situated, had been infected.
Those fears, followed by the confirmation on Saturday that a farm with a flock of 11,000 turkeys had been struck by the disease, have sent poultry sales plummeting.
As always, the Effect Measure blog has excellent reporting on this issue. [bm]