The Avian Flu

The Avian flu is finally here (Read News). The endless wait is over and we can now celebrate.

Many chickens in Nandurbar and Dhule districts of Maharashtra were found dead last evening and the State Animal Husbandry Ministry has confirmed they were not suicides. Even as the opposition says there is some foul play (not fowl) involved, the State Government has assured that all steps will be taken to arrest any epidemic.

A high-level meeting is currently on in Mumbai, which will decide the fate of the other infected chickens, which are yet to fall dead. While the bureaucrats are saying it would be a good idea to kill all the chicken in the two districts, the Maharashtra Animal Husbandry Minister Mr Anees Ahmed believes the birds should be left alone in the last few days of their lives.

-Here we will make some sense-
The `Influenza A` virus causes “avian influenza” (also known as bird flu, avian flu, influenzavirus A flu, type A flu, or genus A flu). It is hosted by birds, but may infect several species of mammals – human beings being one of them. According to documented history, Avian Flu has wreaked havoc from 1959 onwards. So there is no need to panic. It is fine if we are informed, and cut down on chicken intake for a while.
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The poultry owners in these two districts have noticed that some of the chicken actually crossed the road before falling dead. Ouchmytoe Times caught with one of the Poultry Owners Association representative, who didn`t want to be identified due to the sensitivities involved, and asked him: “Why do you think the chicken crossed the road?” He gave the reporter a stare, scribbled this url – http://www.whydidthechickencrosstheroad.com/ on a piece of paper and left.

Deaths of so many chickens in the neighboring state of Karnataka would not have raised any eyebrows. PETA would have straightaway attributed it to the Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet in Bangalore (is it still functioning?). Talking of KFC…will the sight of a ‘Bucket of Kentucky Friend Chicken` depress a chicken so much that it will contemplate kicking the bucket?

On a serious note, a few years back, I read that the Baywatch star Pamela Anderson was a vocal critic of KFC`s way of making chickens suffer before killing them. I wanted to call her up and tell her, “Hey…you made men suffer for 20 years and now have the balls (can we say that?) to stand up for chickens?”

Coming back to the core issue here – the avian flu -be careful with what you eat. The poultry farmers have the tendency of killing birds that are most likely to die in the next few days…and birds with avian flu…are generally the ones to die in the next few days.

If we can tackle the Avian Flu and ensure the epidemic doesn`t catch on…it will surely be another feather in our cap!

Avian Flu Updates:
Thanks to Phoenix and the Indian Govt, now I know that the Avian Flue virus is rendered ineffective at low temperatures. Considering the Indian style of cooking that would be easy killing. Moral of the story: You can eat chicken, if cooked properly. You could still get Avian Flu if exposed to an affected poultry bird. If in the last few days you have been experiencing breathing problems, fever, cold and sometimes diarrhea, this would be the right time to visit a doctor.

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