Bird Flu – hype or horror?

Matthew Chatfield
Latest posts by Matthew Chatfield (see all)

What a panic about bird flu. Yes, it’s worrying but the possibility of an influenza pandemic is hardly new. I do worry, though, about the tacit threat which may be building against wild and migrating birds. People really do seem to worry about these things -be it badgers, rats, mice, flies and now birds. They think that ‘someone’ ought to do ‘something’ about them. But frankly, they can’t. these creatures are wild, and they do what they like. Nobody owns them, nobody controls them, and they never have. The idea of a natural world which has its own laws and way of life seems odd to some of us who are more used to an urban environment where everything is owned and managed by someone -and, perhaps more sinisterly, where everything that goes wrong is somebody’s fault, and they can then be sued, hoorah! By the way, here’s the offical advice:

There is a small possibility that some wild birds may be affected by the highly pathogenic form of the H5N1 strain of avian influenza in the UK this autumn and winter. If you come across a suspicious die-off of wild birds please: Do not touch them. Contact Defra on 08459 335577 immediately (wherever you are in the UK).

Matthew Chatfield

Uncooperative crusty. Unofficial Isle of Wight cultural ambassador. Conservation, countryside and the environment, with extra stuff about spiders.

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