We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit SciDev.Net — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on SciDev.Net” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. If you want to also take images published in this story you will need to confirm with the original source if you're licensed to use them.
  5. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.
For more information view our media page and republishing guidelines.

The full article is available here as HTML.

Press Ctrl-C to copy

Mass culling of poultry to limit the spread of bird flu is not an acceptable method of control, said the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) at a meeting in Paris, France, last week (7-8 April).

Instead, the two organisations are urging governments and farmers to vaccinate birds against the disease. Their previous calls for vaccination were not as strong as this one.

The insistence follows a realisation that killing large numbers of birds is unlikely to eliminate the lethal H5N1 bird flu virus. The virus is widespread in wild and domestic bird populations, meaning it will continue to re-emerge no matter how many birds are killed.

The organisations say that "for ethical, ecological and economical reasons", culling should no longer be used as a primary means of control.

Previously, some Asian governments preferred culling because they feared that vaccinating birds would merely eliminate symptoms, allowing the virus to spread undetected.

Participants in the Paris meeting recognised that many countries are not able to fund a vaccination programme. They called for US$100-120 million in aid over three to five years to help Asian countries with this.

Link to full Nature news story

Related topics