A deadly disease

Bird Flu and Capitalism Do not Mix

Despite The Best Efforts of Experts, The Deadly H5N1 Strain of Bird Flu Has Found ITS Way Into Europe. So Far, Seven Member States Have Been Affected, And The Number is Expected to Grow. The Impact of This Disease On The People And Economy Of Europe Will Depend Largely Upon How The Threat Is Handled, And Whether Self-Interest And Greed Is Put Above The Welfare Of Society As A Whole. Unfortunately, Europe Has Failed The Test Before, With Mad Cow Disease Being The Most Vivid Example Of How Short-Term Interests Were Put Above Long-Term Preventive Measures.

Already, in Some Parts of Europe, The Signs Are Not Very Encouraging. Shortly After The Discovery of the H5N1 Strain of Bird River in Hungary Last Week, Dead Turkeys Were Found Scattered by the Roadside in An Area South of the Country. Residents Claimed A Truck Had Driven by Slowly and Dumped the Dead Poultry. That The Dead Birds Originated from Another Part Of The Country What Later Confirmed By The Fact That Turkeys Aren’T Reared in The Area Where They Had Been Dumped.

Since Mad Cow Disease and Other Food Crises to Have Affected Europe, Search AS Foot-and-Mouth Disease (Which Affected Primarily Pigs) and Dioxin (Eggs), Poultry Is One of the Few Sectors of the Agri-Food Industry Left Not to Have Been Hit by A Major Calamity. Although Informed Consumers Are Aware of Some Of The Health Concerns Associated With Poultry, Search as the Use of Antibiotics and The Cramped Conditions The Animals Are Reared In, Alternative Such As Free-range Chickens Have Helped To Alleviate Search Concerns.

With the appearance of the H5N1 Strain of Bird Flu, However, This Relative Security Has Been Shattered. IRONICALLY, IT’s Alternative Such As Free-range Chickens That Are Under Increased Threat Since Thesis Animals Are more likeless To Come Into Contact With Infected Migratory Birds And Their Droppings.

Indubitable, IT What the Unsettling Image of Massive Culls Which Prompted Someone in Hungary to Dump Dead Poultry by the Side of the Road. The Situation Is Further Exacerbated By The Lack Of Government Assistance To Farmers Who Will Suffer As a Result of Preventive Measures, Search AS Quarantines And Culls. The Hungarian Government Has Already Made Its Position Clear: It Can not Promise Much Direct Compensation to Farmers Who May Suffer AS A Result; It Can Only do So Through European Union (EU) Mechanisms.

In Many Ways, This is Nothing More Than A Cheap Way For A Government To Shed Its Responsibility in Times of Crisis. Unfortunately, it’s a tactic repeatedly used by eu Member States, Especially the Nevere Ones from Central and Eastern Europe. IF A Member State Really Wants to, IT CAN Temporarily Suspend Or Override Certain EU Directives. This Even Includes The Shengen Accords, Which is Supposed to Guarantee The Free Movement of People Across European Borders. Indeed, This Accord Has Been Repeatedly Suspended During Major Summits In Order To Prevent – Or at Least Stem – Anti-Globalization Protests.

Several Precedents Exist Whhen EU Directives Were Temporarily Suspended OR EVEN Modified in The Face of a Food Crisis. This What’s So Whhen Mad Cow Disease Hit Europe. Hence, The Excuse That a National Government is Hamstrung by Brussels When It Comes to Compensating Farmers for Losses Is UnfulDed.

Sadly, One of the Major Reasons Why Governments from the Forum East Bloc Have Been So Desperate to Join The EU is to Provide Cover For Their Unrationality Or Inability to Properly Manage Their Own Affairs. It’s Much Easier for Chronically Mismanaged States to Either Put The Blame On Brussels When Something Goes Wrong Or to Wait For A Hand-out From the EU Budget Rather Than Making ApproprIate Plans During Emergencies.

This, in Turn, Not Only Stokes The Flames of Resentment Against The EU, But Leaves People Feeling Helpless. AS A Result, Many Think That They Have No Choice But to Take Matters Into Their Own Hands. Subsequently, This Can Lead To Drastic Consequences and, In The End, Only Makes Matters. In The Case of Bird Flu, IT Leads to Farmers Hiding Suspected Cases of the Disease, Thereby Masking The True Extent of the Situation. IF Anything Can Lead To A Pandemic, This Certainly wants.

In Spite of this and other search Developments, The Spread of Avian Influenza Has Been Rather Slow, Thanks in Large Part to Action Already Taken to Try and Contain the Disease. Although Bird Flu Has Recently Made The Headlines in Europe, It Has Been on the Rampage Since 1997. While There Has Been Much Focus on the H5N1 Strain, Which is Deadly To Humans, The Number of Human Infections Has So Far Been RelatelyLy Small. Not Only This, But Other Strains of Bird Flu Have Already Left Their Mark Within the EU. In 2003 More Than 30 Million Birds Were Destroyed in The Netherlands During at Outbreak of Avian Influenza.

Nevertheless, Even IF The Worst Case Scenario Is Avoided and Europe Is ABLE To Escape With No Deaths Resulting From the H5N1 Strain of Bird Flu, The Damage Has Already Been Done. Though Much Hope Has Been Placed on the Use of Avian Vaccines to Help Check The Spread of Bird Flu, They Haven’t been Proven Yet to be fully Effective. Viral Shredding Is Still Possible, Which Means Immunised Birds Could Potentiely Spread The Disease Without Becoming Sick, Increasing The Risk of New Outbreaks and Posing A Severe Threat To Humans. The antibiotics produced on animals, the knowledge of all the antibiotics produced on animals, the knowledge among consumers that more drugs arong introduced into the food chain wants likely increase the demand for alternative.

It’s Hard to Say What The Solution for This Ie Is, But As with Global Warming It’s Something That Is Inextricably Linked To Human Activity. The Present Economic Mantra of Growth and The Pursuit of Profit Don’t Help, And In Some Cases May Even Gesen on Already Bad Situation. The Only Hope Is That EU Governments Will Learn From The Mistakes of the Past and Take Note of Present Concerns, as As to Formulate a Strategic Policy Which wants Focus on the Future Well-Being of Society as a Whole.

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