By now most of us realize that much of what is reported on the media can’t be trusted. Yet, it seems some things are more convincing than others. Such seems to be the case with this “Bird Flu” outbreak. I read a few headlines this morning and I felt a burning desire to set this record straight!
There are hugely mistaken policy analysis and debate surrounding this and, frankly, flat out lies being told in the media concerning it. We could argue about the “why” behind it, but the bottom line is, the lies are flourishing no matter what the reason. I want to at least share the truth with our friends who follow our website.
I’ll get right to the point. While panic in the media and at government levels is all focused on the threat from migratory birds and small-scale free-range poultry operations, the REAL reason for the development and spread of the disease has been quietly ignored (or brushed under the rug on purpose.)
If you take time to use a little discernment, you can see the many holes in their theory.
Media and the CDC say that they are ordering all birds to be confined to “protect” them from wild birds that carry this bird flu. HOWEVER, the ONLY birds effected by it are those living in confinement. This fact alone should cause us to ask questions. These birds are already away from all wild birds. Clearly, confining the birds does not protect them.
Instead, the REAL reason for the bird flu is birds who are living in filthy conditions, crammed together with hundreds or thousands of other birds, little or no daylight or fresh air. It's also a result of the conditions in which these birds are hatched, transported and eventually raised. Watch closely and you will see, it’s the big producers that have to kill all their birds because of the bird flu. And the flu follows the patterns of these producers. It does not take a medical degree to figure out, when you cram a lot of animals (or people for that matter) into a small space, there can be more spread of a virus.
These confined birds are at higher risk to begin with because of the conditions in which they live and the stress they must endure daily, until they die and are tossed out of the building. Of course they will end up sick. The conditions are not clean, allowing super bugs to take over.
In contrast, our birds, living out on pastures (with wild birds flying over-head daily) have never contracted any flu or other disease. Healthy birds with strong immune systems are able to fight off bacteria and even some viruses, if should they come into contact with them. If bird flu is present in wild birds, then why over the past 10 years has our farm never encountered it? Never lost a single chicken to it? After raising thousands of meat chickens and laying hens over the past 10 years we have never suffered even one loss to bird flu. Why would this be? These are good questions to ask. These are questions the media can’t and won't answer.
Our birds live long, healthy lives with pasture rotation which keeps parasites at bay. Eating a diet that is full of variety.
Please do not believe the lies you see at the CDC site, the media and government reports. Don’t just google search it, use a different browser and research it yourself. Ask yourself: when have you ever heard of a small, local farm that has dealt with the bird flu? Believe me, you would know it if they did because small farmers have a reputation to protect and if eggs slowed down on a small farm, all the customers would know it.
The big producers with birds in complete confinement, are the ones with this issue and that is a fact. Those are the companies that can hide behind government subsidies and media covers. If you'd like to read more about the details of these from an unbiased source, scroll to the bottom of this post for more info.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
There are three things you can do!
If you are able, raise your own chickens or go in with a neighbor and raise some together!
If you are not able to raise your own birds, look for small farmers in your area and start buying from them. While supply might go up and down with the seasons, hand in there and get creative. It will be worth it because if supply from a small farm goes up and down, you can be sure the chickens are being raised properly, going through their slower months of rest and picking up again during their peak season. And you can be certain, you’ll never find a pasture-raised bird with the bird flu.
Read the additional information below, which outlines the underlying reasons for the lies we see in the media and within the CDC.
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
Here is a report from GRAIN, which is an international, non-governmental organization (NGO) which promotes the sustainable management of use of agricultural biodiversity based on people's control over genetic resources and local knowledge.
The GRAIN report shows that emergence of bird flu follows the global poultry industry's movements - and NOT migratory bird movements. The large-scale, confined, and frankly disgusting, factory farming conditions that characterize the global poultry industry are likely to be the real cause of the mutation of bird flu into its deadly form. The widespread movements of the industry's chickens and hatching eggs, are likely to be the cause of its spread.
1. Report Says Global Poultry Industry is the Root of them Bird Flu Crisis
Press Release from GRAIN. Date: 27 February 2006
Small-scale poultry farming and wild birds are being unfairly blamed for the bird flu crisis now affecting large parts of the world. A new report from GRAIN shows how the transnational poultry industry is the root of the problem and must be the focus of efforts to control the virus.
The spread of industrial poultry production and trade networks has created ideal conditions for the emergence and transmission of lethal viruses like the H5N1 strain of bird
flu. Once inside densely populated factory farms, viruses can rapidly become lethal and amplify. Air thick with viral load from infected farms is carried for kilometres, while integrated trade networks spread the disease through many carriers: live birds, day-old-chicks, meat, feathers, hatching eggs, eggs, chicken manure and animal feed.
"Everyone is focused on migratory birds and backyard chickens as the problem," says Devlin Kuyek of GRAIN. "But they are not effective vectors of highly pathogenic bird flu. The virus kills them, but is unlikely to be spread by them."
For example, in Malaysia, the mortality rate from H5N1 among village chicken is only 5%, indicating that the virus has a hard time spreading among small scale chicken flocks. H5N1
outbreaks in Laos, which is surrounded by infected countries, have only occurred in the nation's few factory farms, which are supplied by Thai hatcheries. The only cases of bird flu in backyard poultry, which account for over 90% of Laos' production, occurred next to the factory farms.
"The evidence we see over and over again, from the Netherlands in 2003 to Japan in 2004 to Egypt in 2006, is that lethal bird flu breaks out in large scale industrial chicken farms and then spreads," Kuyek explains.
The Nigerian outbreak earlier this year began at a single factory farm, owned by a Cabinet minister, distant from hotspots for migratory birds but known for importing unregulated hatchable eggs. In India, local authorities say that H5N1 emerged and spread from a factory farm owned by the country's largest poultry company, Venkateshwara Hatcheries.
Why the SILENCE?
A burning question is why governments and international agencies, like the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, are doing nothing to investigate how the factory farms and their
byproducts, such as animal feed and manure, spread the virus. Instead, they are using the crisis as an opportunity to further industrialise the poultry sector. Initiatives are multiplying to ban outdoor poultry, squeeze out small producers and restock farms with genetically-modified chickens. The web of complicity with an industry engaged in a string of denials and cover-ups seems complete.
"Farmers are losing their livelihoods, native chickens are being wiped out and some experts say that we're on the verge of a human pandemic that could kill millions of people,"
Kuyek concludes. "When will governments realise that to protect poultry and people from bird flu, we need to protect them from the global poultry industry?"
 The full briefing, "Fowl play: The poultry industry's central role in the bird flu crisis", is available at <http://www.grain.org/>http://www.grain.org . Spanish and
French translations will be posted shortly.
 Chicken faeces and bedding from poultry factory floors are common ingredients in animal feed.