Something afoul? 1.5 million sick chickens illegally buried
Following last year’s mass poultry culling in the Tulkarem area of the West Bank, due to fears of Avian Flu virus, it has been recently discovered that more than 1.5 chicken carcasses that were buried in northern Israel following a poultry epidemic are now feared to be seriously polluting the ground water in the region. The revelation as reported in Haaretz includes the dumping of the carcasses by poultry farmers, and whose decomposition into the soil is now threatening to create an environmental hazard and endangers the water supply, according to Israel’s Environmental Protection Ministry.
Illegally buried chickens – yuck!
This kind of environmental contamination is especially noteworthy in light of the March 28 approval by Israel’s parliament of the Environmental Protection Law.
In regards to what has been done illegally by the poultry farmers, the new law specifically states that:
“The law establishes new ‘game rules’ whereby no one in the State will be immune from environmental inspection and enforcement. Polluters will no longer be able to shirk their responsibility for environmental degradation under the umbrella of the law, so that environmental enforcement will be significantly improved and damage to public health and well being will be prevented.”
The acts by the poultry farmers involve the creation of an environmental hazard that according to the Environmental Ministry “some of the carcasses were concealed in locations that were likely to risk contaminating ground water. The chickens were buried without suitable sealing, posing a risk that as the carcasses decomposed, constituents may permeate the ground water.”
The killing of the chickens resulted from their being infected by an avian virus known as Newcastle Disease also known as “Avian Distemper“.
The carcasses should have been disposed of by shipping them to government approved burial sites, which were far away from the poultry farms. In light of the adverse publicity caused by animal diseases like Avian Flu, and the H1N1 or “swine flu” virus that resulted in more than 300,000 swine being slaughtered in Egypt.
The poultry farmers appeared to be fearful of creating a panic among the public by sending the suspected chickens to the regulated waste sites, mostly located in southern Israel. Although the Environment Ministry has stated that diseased birds must be culled and removed so as not to infect healthy ones, it also does not allow the unauthorized burial of the birds in pits dug next to poultry runs.
This appears to have been a very “fowl” act indeed!
Read more about Mid East animal disease issues: