Everyone hates needles, but don’t be a chicken if you want to vaccinate them against the new avian flu
If you’ve been reading the news you’ll know that there is a deadly outbreak of the avian flu virus circling the globe again. This one appears to be deadlier than every, UN health authorities are reporting. The new avian flu virus the H5N1 is rearing its head in the Middle East in Israel and the Palestinian Authority. And I bet in other locales –– places way too busy with political reform and uprisings to take stock of the problem.
For small time egg farmers like myself (see how I made a chicken coop), I am curious: should I be inoculating my birds? I asked, and the UN’s press office contacted a senior vet: it is the prerogative of each country to decide what action to take.
Dear Ms Kloosterman,
FAO Senior Animal Health Officer Jan Slingenbergh has this to say:
“Vaccination in different poultry species and production systems, against the background of a continually changing H5N1 and other Influenza A viruses risk scenario in poultry, is the prerogative of the public veterinary services of the respective country.
FAO keeps a focus on the international / global dynamics and ensuing broad health management ramifications.”
So the answer? It depends. Egg farmers, small or big, should be in touch with their local veterinary services in their respective countries. Read more about the avian flu here. The picture above, by the way, is of me as a young girl. Egg farming.