Thursday, November 30, 2006

THE NEWS IN BRIEF

More than 12,000 poultry birds have died at a second South Korean farm. At least 200 of the birds have tested positive for a highly virulent strain of the avian influenza virus. South Korea's agriculture ministry refuses to confirm or deny that the virus is now spreading further.


China has issued a series of alerts about the threat posed by the growing spread of bird flu in South Korea. China is now considering banning live poultry markets.


The culling of dogs, cats and pigs has now begun in South Korea, although authorities claim that animals kept as pets will not be killed. Dogs are often kept in cages, or tied up in yards, by older South Korean men, who slaughter the dogs for their meat. Dog soup is believed to increase stamina and virulence.


A new series of dire claims about the possibility of a bird flu pandemic in the United States are causing alarm.


The UN chief in charge of fighting the spread of bird flu said that although great progress has been made so far, prevention and eradication programs in regions like Africa still remain grossly underfunded. Another $1.3 billion is estimated to be needed to continue countering the spread of H5N1.


Officials in Canada are denying rumours spread via the internet that a 9 year old boy was hospitalised with a case of bird flu infection in Quebec.


Government agricultural officials in Uganda have banned the transportation of chickens in family, or public, vehicles.


The United Nations led fight to stop the spread of bird is expected to turn its attention more and more to Africa and away from Asia in the coming months.


Pakistan is about to begin a rollout of measures to stop the spread of bird flu.

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