28
Okt
2005

Stop the Wild Bird Trade Worldwide

The European Union has issued a one month import ban and effectively stopped the constant flow of parrots and other pet birds from Africa, Asia and South-America, which are caught in the wild under mostly illegal or dreadful conditions. The pseudo-legal regulations at the market countries often only cover the the illegal and cruel practices at the countries of origin. Of late 1.76 million wild birds imported live per year used to supply the demanding and uneducated European consumer market, whereby it is estimated that at least a similar number already died in the trade-pipelines. The global ecosystems can no longer afford to loose nearly 5 million birds from the wild every year just to satisfy sick consumer demands.

This import ban for all EU countries has to become permanent now !

Please go to //www.worldparrottrust.org to get all the background information and kindly sign the petition at: //www.worldparrottrust.org/trade/tradegerman.htm !

But such must not apply for Europe only, though it counts for around 87% of the global trade in wild birds, but the treatment of wild birds as mere trading goods has to stop everywhere.

ECOTERRA Intl. therefore asks all environmental and health organisations to get similar import-stops in place worldwide and to initiate a crack-down on the illegal trade !

The deadly spiral of purely opportunistic and money-oriented trade of wild species, which bears in addition serious health-risks and gives opportunities only to further criminal medical scams must be broken - now, because already drug-resistant strains of the deadly H5N1 virus exist.


ECOTERRA Intl.

P.S.: And use this issue to check the credibility of your newspaper - if they just followed the mainstream scaremongering, financed by Big Pharma: Give them the boot ! The conning has to stop too!

---------------

Tamiflu-resistant bird flu found in Vietnam Burning culled chickens in Vietnam Catherine Brahic
17 October 2005 Source: SciDev.Net

Researchers have found a strain of bird flu that can resist Tamiflu, the drug that governments and the World Health Organization are stockpiling in preparation for a widely predicted flu pandemic.

The scientists say health authorities should consider stocking up on more than one anti-flu drug.

The Vietnamese and Japanese researchers, led by Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Tokyo, will publish their findings in Nature on Thursday (20 October).

They isolated the drug-resistant H5N1 virus from a 14-year-old Vietnamese girl.

Most of the virus strains found in her blood were resistant to oseltamivir, the flu drug sold commercially as Tamiflu. This resistance was the result of a single genetic mutation in one of the virus's eight proteins.

"We've been watching for this change [in the virus]," Kawaoka says. "This is the first, but we will see others. There's no question about it."

The researchers acknowledge that their findings are based on a single patient, but say the results suggest, "it might be useful to stockpile zanamivir as well as oseltamivir in the event of an H5N1 influenza pandemic".

It is not the first time flu experts have advised governments to stockpile zanamivir, whose trade name is Relenza (see 'Bird flu: in favour of contingency plans').

In August, Kenneth Tsang and colleagues suggested in The Lancet that H5N1, which has killed 60 people in Asia, would be less likely to become resistant to zanamivir than to oseltamivir.

Kawaoka calls oseltamivir the "first line of defence. It is the drug many countries are stockpiling, and the plan is to rely heavily on it."

It is widely accepted that the global flu pandemic experts have been predicting for more than a year could ensue if H5N1 became able to spread from person to person (see Time to prepare for bird flu pandemic 'running out').

Kawaoka and colleagues say that, as far as they could tell, the Vietnamese patient had no direct contact with poultry. She had, however, taken care of her 21-year-old brother while he was infected with H5N1.

So far, the World Health Organization has not confirmed a single case of H5N1 being transmitted between people.

Last year, researchers suggested that a Thai woman might have been infected with the virus while caring for her infected daughter (see Bird flu deaths raise fears of human spread).

The World Health Organization, however, never confirmed this, or other suspected cases of human-to-human transmission.

Reference: Nature 437, 1108 (2005)

Related SciDev.Net articles: Asian nations to stockpile flu drugs against pandemic Bird flu virus 'could be mutating in Vietnam'

-----------------

Oh no! Say it aint so. Rummy's old company makes money on flu alerts?

TAMIFLU GILEAD CHAIR WAS ... RUMMY //www.freemarketnews.com/WorldNews.asp?nid=1443 Friday, October 21, 2005 - FreeMarketNews.com

NEWS AND ANALYSIS

Readers can be helpful, and one just wrote in to inform us of a link that we had never imagined - Donald Rumsfeld, until he resigned and joined the Bush Administration, was the chairman of something called Gilead which just happened to make something called Tamiflu.

Now anyone who hasn't been on Mars for the last month or two, knows that there were only two things that were going to stop the human version of bird flu. One was a bird flu vaccine (which probably would work better if you were a bird) and the other was something called Tamiflu. Yes, that Tamiflu. In such short supply that the hundreds of millions of orders that have been pouring into Gilead probably won't be filled for another 12 months or so. But everyone has got to have it because somehow or other it became established that Tamiflu really worked.

This was the party line, anyway, for about a week, until word began trickling back in that maybe Tamiflu didn't work. In fact, the word on Tamiflu has always been positive at first and then eventually negative. It's a kind of pattern. We even find corroboration of it here on the Democrats.com, in what appears to be either a chat room or news roundup as follows, "Rummy was CEO of Gilead Sciences until named to the Bush cabinet and, like Cheney, still has ties that bind to the 'old company.' Now isn't it an 'amazing coincidence' that the drug Tamiflu patented by Gilead Sciences is being pushed by the National Institutes of Allergies and Infectious Diseases as the NUMBER ONE choice for flu, which, wonder of wonders, is sweeping through in one epidemic after another."

The post from January '04 adds, "Tamiflu is now also being recommended to fight avian flu ... Scroll through this NIAID page and you will find Tamiflu listed as ahead of all other recommended drugs for both prevention and treatment of flu. Trouble is, Gilead has been accused of rigging the trials of Tamiflu as a preventive treatment. Meanwhile Gilead is making a killing."

The post then gives the following link:
//12.31.13.115/HealthNews/reuters/NewsStory0106200324.htm)

We bet Gilead is still making a killing as is Big Pharma. Please notice now that the orders are in, the hysteria has died down a bit. Perhaps everybody is too busy counting the money. Or perhaps it was never about anything BUT the money. We weren't entirely sure, but we knew that none of it passed the old "smell test." In fact, in serial articles we claimed that bird flu probably wasn't going to turn into human flu anytime soon, that even if it did, it didn't mean that the world was in for a dose of 1918 influenza all over again. We just couldn't believe that the people bringing us Spanish Influenza Redux - with all the hype and horror - were remotely qualified to bring us even the opening of an envelope.

We questioned everything, even whether 1918 was all just the fault of a flu virus. Didn't seem likely to us then and doesn't now - especially since we've come to understand what hygiene was like for the soldiers coming back from the war, how vaccine providers apparently unloaded their stock after the war, lowering immunities, etc. and, finally how the new miracle drug, aspirin, was all the rage, prescribed by medical parishioners everywhere. Aspirin lowers fevers and allows flu to build until it bursts out all over the body with renewed and potentially mortal violence.

And that brings us to today. Bird flu still rages and, yes, it may mutate into human flu at some point and cause death, many deaths, or fewer deaths, no one knows. It may indeed sweep around the world. But of more worry immediately were moves of civil authorities to float trial balloons about mandatory vaccination and to start sending vials of superflu bugs around the world in the name of science. We demanded that our viewers call the Capitol Hill and get out the word that the government was to cease testing new vaccines, cease ordering TamiFlu and bird flu vaccine, neither of which work or will work against whatever it is that bird flu will turn into. Which at least some in government would love because then they could turn the President's apparent yen for martial law into reality. And Bush could use some martial law about now. Hell, he could use anything, maybe even a good book.

We hoped that this latest epidemic of hysteria would finally force the government to come clean about other remedies - super doses of Vitamin C and even the use of silver as an antidote. We're still waiting. Sigh.

staff&nbspreports - Free-Market News Network

---------

More Tamiflu on the way, says drug giant

Thai researchers testing samples for bird flu Catherine Brahic
18 October 2005 Source: SciDev.Net The company that makes Tamiflu, the drug health authorities are stockpiling in case of a flu pandemic, says it will consider letting governments and other companies produce the drug. Roche Pharmaceuticals also said it would expand its manufacturing capacity to meet the rapidly growing demand. Tamiflu, also known as oseltamivir, reduces flu symptoms. It might be able to cure and reduce the spread of infection between people if the bird flu virus H5N1, which has killed 60 people in Asia, sparks a human pandemic. Because it holds the patent for the drug, Roche is the only company allowed to make it, but cannot keep up with increased global demand. The company announced today (18 October) that the US Food and Drug Administration has given it permission to open an extra factory in the United States to make more of the drug. A Roche spokesperson told SciDev.Net that the company was unable to say how much this would boost supplies. William Burns, head of Roche's Pharma Division, said in today's statement that to supply the world with more Tamiflu the company was prepared to discuss "all available options" with any government or company. Burns said Roche would do this "provided such groups can realistically produce substantial amounts of the medicine for emergency pandemic use, in accordance with appropriate quality specifications, safety and regulatory guidelines". According to Reuters, the Indian drug company Cipla wants to start making oseltamivir but has yet to approach Roche. Reuters also reports that Thailand plans to bypass Roche's patent and make a much cheaper, generic version of the drug by October 2006. Roche told SciDev.Net that an Asian government — but not the Thai one — had approached it about a production agreement for the drug. Also today, GlaxoSmithKline announced it would to increase production of another flu drug called Relenza (zanamivir), which some researchers have urged governments to stockpile in addition to Tamiflu (see Tamiflu-resistant bird flu found in Vietnam).


Regional Gateways

------------

Waterbird culls and wetland drainage could worsen spread of Avian Influenza, BirdLife warns 20 October 2005 BirdLIfe International [1] today warned that hasty responses to Avian Influenza based on incomplete or unsound data could do great damage to birds and other biodiversity, while actually raising the risk to people and to the economically important poultry industry. BirdLife International’s Partners throughout Europe, such as the RSPB (BirdLife in the UK ), are working or preparing to work with their governments to monitor migratory wild bird populations and to provide scientific data and expert guidance. Recent outbreaks of the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of avian influenza [2] in Europe have occurred along migratory flyways (including the Danube delta, a great gathering place for migratory waterbird) during the autumn migration. There is no concrete evidence that migratory birds have helped transmit the disease between countries or regions, but the possibility cannot be ruled out. The spread of H5N1 within and beyond South-east Asia appears attributable to movements of infected poultry [3, 4, 5]. The patterns of spread are not consistent with the timing and direction of movements of wild birds BirdLife International strongly opposes any suggestion that wild birds should be culled as a way of controlling the spread of the disease, on grounds of practicality and effectiveness, as well as conservation. Any such attempts could spread the virus more widely, as survivors disperse to new places, and healthy birds become stressed and more prone to infection. The World Health Organisation, Food and Agriculture Organisation and OIE (the World Organisation for Animal Health) agree that control of avian influenza in wild birds by culling is not feasible, and should not be attempted.

Similarly, attempts to drain wetlands to keep waterbirds away are also likely to be counterproductive, as well as disastrous for the environment, the conservation of threatened species, and for vital ecosystem services such as flood control and water cleansing. Birds will seek alternative staging places and waterbirds forced to fly further and endure more crowded conditions along their migration route will be more prone to infection. Some Asian and Middle Eastern governments are reported to be already formulating proposals for draining wetlands. The most efficient control techniques involve improved biosecurity, to reduce the likelihood of contact between poultry and wild birds or infected water sources. Further measures include stricter controls or even bans on movements of domestic poultry, and on wild bird markets. Countries should also ban imports of wild-caught birds from infected areas. Such measures should be introduced worldwide. BirdLife International therefore welcomes the recommendations by the European Commission that surveillance and biosecurity measures at poultry farms in the European Union should be strengthened, and that the Member States and experts have been advised to increase resources and efforts to monitor migratory bird species. “We would like to offer our expertise in the Member States through our Partners and invite the EU state administrations to contact our Partners in country for help especially with the wild bird monitoring programmes,” said Dr Clairie Papazoglou, BirdLife International’s Head of EU Policy,. BirdLife International’s Director of Science, Dr Leon Bennun, stressed the importance of informed and balanced judgement in responses to the threat of avian influenza, and in the public dissemination of information about it. “It is important that discussions of the issues relating to avian influenza should differentiate between the real problems caused by the spread of the disease within bird populations, especially within the poultry industry, and the theoretical risks of a human pandemic.” ENDS Contacts For further information please contact: Ade Long, Communications, BirdLife International, tel: +44 1223 277812 mobile +44 (0)7779 7779018332 email: adrian.long@birdlife.org

Notes

[1] BirdLife International is a partnership of people working together for birds and the environment. It promotes sustainable living as a means of conserving birds and all other forms of biodiversity and is the leading authority on the status of birds and their habitats. Over 10 million people support the BirdLife Partnership of national non-governmental conservation organisations and local networks.

[2] There are at least 144 strains of avian influenza, many of which circulate in wild birds at low levels. Most strains are mild and are designated ’Low Pathogenicity Avian Influenza‘ (LPAI). But a few ’subtypes’ can cause massive mortality in poultry and are designated ’High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza‘ (HPAI).

Wild birds can also be infected with, and killed by, HPAI viruses. They appear to acquire the virus through contact with infected poultry or with facilities used by them.

Subtype H5N1 evolved in poultry from Low Pathogenicity Avian Influenza viruses that were probably acquired from wild birds. Conditions in poultry flocks (such as crowding, and prolonged contact with faeces, saliva and other bodily secretions) keep the viruses circulating as they evolve [3] The current series of outbreaks began in 2003 in South-east Asia , where a dramatic increase in intensive poultry production is sometimes combined with poor hygiene and bio-security in small “backyard” enterprises. Domestic ducks are commonly turned out to feed in rice fields alongside waterbirds during the day, and confined with other poultry at night. Birds from different areas are brought together in networks of poultry markets, and often transported hundreds of miles.

[4] Within south-east Asia , movements of poultry and poultry products are known to have been involved in the virus’s spread among flocks and between countries. Outbreaks in China , Kazakhstan and southern Russia are connected by major road and rail routes. The “transmission routes” between outbreaks in Asia do not follow migratory flyways. Many of these outbreaks also occurred in summer, when birds are moulting and do not fly far.

[5] There are several ways through which H5N1 might be transmitted, including movements of poultry (and feathers), migrating birds, the trade in wild-caught birds, and the movement of soil/mud on wheels and feet. The relative importance of each of these factors in the transmission of H5N1 is unknown, but to date, all outbreaks that have been investigated have been traced back to poultry movements.

Ade Long Head of Communications BirdLife International Wellbrook Court, Girton Cambridge CB3 0NA, UK adrian.long@birdlife.org Tel: +44 (0)1223 279812 Fax: +44 (0)1223 277200
//www.birdlife.org

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Avian flu on the wing: are wild birds to blame?

21 October 2005 Source: The bird flu H5N1 virus is spreading fast, and the general view presented in the media is that migratory birds are to blame. Yet, writes Dennis Normile in Science, bird experts have been almost unanimously sceptical about this theory. They argue that sick or dying birds cannot fly very far, and that even if they were carrying the virus, H5N1 should already have arrived in places where it has not. Moreover, researchers in the US and China have been monitoring wild birds for several years, looking for healthy birds carrying H5N1. So far, both searches have found nothing. Rather, experts have been arguing that it is human movement of birds that is spreading the disease. Examples include poultry trade and, more unusually, a traveller caught smuggling birds of prey from Thailand to Belgium. Tests showed that these birds were carrying H5N1. But outbreaks among wildfowl in remote corners of China and Mongolia — where movements of domestic poultry have been ruled out as a cause — are forcing some to change their minds. A Chinese team, for instance, is speculating that mildly infected birds could be carrying the virus long distances. As researchers scramble to pinpoint the cause, surveillance remains patchy, and efforts to fight bird flu in Asia is failing to get adequate international funding. Link to full article in Science:

//www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/310/5747/426?ijkey=t3pFaK.twYqc6&keytype=ref&siteid=sci


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