Anorak News | War With The Birds

War With The Birds

by | 16th, November 2006

"THEY’RE coming! They’re coming!" The birds are coming. And they will surely do for us all.

The Sun announces: “MUTANT FLU – Bird virus ‘will kill 50 million’”. The 60 million of us shoe-horned into this gilded island, a complement that once looked so many, now seems perilously few.

The news is grim, although the darkness is lifted by knowing that of these 50 million dead many will perish overseas. But still, “at least” 300,000 Britishers sill die – “mainly kids, mums and the elderly.”

Dr Yoshihiro Kawaoka, a virologist at the University of Winconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, says: “We are watching this virus turn itself into a human pathogen.”

But what can we do? Should we slaughter all birds? It would seem sensible.

But the birds are cunning. The Mail’s front-page tells us that if the flu doesn’t get us, the salmonella in birds’ eggs will.

The paper says that millions of eggs imported from Spain are laced with salmonella. A study by the Government’s Food Standards Agency found the proportion of contaminated eggs “uncomfortably high”.

The paper tells us that most of these eggs go to bakers, caterers and restaurants. The birds’ distribution network is advanced and complex. It is a network that makes al-Qaeda look small time and hopeless.

And then there is the problem over food labelling. You can no longer believe what you read. The propaganda war has begun and the Mail says eggs labelled free range might not be so.

Defra, the Government’s food and farming department, says it is investigating instances of mislabelling in this country. Perhaps have been arrested. Wings have been clipped.

And all the while the vultures circle. The Mail sees one of these scavenger birds hanging in the grey skies over Britain. The Sun spots another perched in Richmond Park, South West London.

They watch. They wait. The war with the birds is back!

Posted: 16th, November 2006 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink