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How dare an H5N1 avian flu virus
disobey an EC directive,
while the UK government won't.
Teviot Scientific, Cultybraggan Farm, Comrie,
Filed 13 Feb 07
The virulent strain H5N1 of the avian flu
virus hit the Bernard Matthews massive turkey farm in Suffolk allegedly
on Tuesday. The infection was not notified to the authorities until
Thursday, and restrictions on movements were put not in place until
That is a hugely long time between
the birds initially going down with the virus and the setting up
of restricted and protected areas, with a radius of 3km and 10 km,
The nation was initially told, on
the advice of government vets and DEFRA scientists, that the most
likely cause was a migrating bird. Apparently this was because previous
outbreaks were thought to due to them. But the trouble here was
that this is not the migrating time for such birds.
It apparently took a staggering long
time to establish, or let it be known, that the Bernard Matthews
turkey enterprise, was so enterprising that had another factory
in Hungary, and that regular deliveries of turkey meat came from
the Bernard Matthews factory in Hungary to their one in Suffolk.
Surely, commonsense would say that this would be much the most likely
mode of H5N1 infection at Suffolk, especially since it was an established
fact that H5N1 had been present in Hungary for the past several
weeks, and official restriction and protective orders were still
in place. But the factory that Bernard Matthews was dealing with
were in Hungary was allegedly a short distance out with these zones.
So Bernard Matthews appeared to be doing nothing illegal, but were
not using commonsense. Neither were defra.