THE SKY IS FALLING – PART I
The birds are coming, run for your lives, thousands of wild aquatic birds are flocking into South Africa from South-East Asia via Siberia and they may be carrying a toxic strain of H5N1 in their faeces which drops into water and may infect local birds with a variant of the dreaded SARS virus. The Department of Health has put up R3-million to fund a bird “surveillance” project by the National Institute of Communicable Diseases.
"Put those wings where I can see them, birdie, and nobody gets hurt."
What happens if they snag one or two, bring them back to headquarters for questioning and find they do have the lethal strain. What are they going to do, shoot all the birds? Watch out for these suckers - Curlew sandpiper, black-headed gull, egret, whooper swan, Ruddy shelduck and those dangerous little stints.
Case of really bad timing because according to this report, South Africa is totally and completely bird flu-free. The Department of Agriculture did a survey, turned up nada, niente, bubkes, our chickens and ostriches are peachy, so we can export again and all we have to worry about are those pesky foreign critters coming in.
Bird xenophobia, shouldn't that be illegal?