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Beef Pork Lamb Prices could rise 29% if Bird Flu Hits

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PORKER

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Bird flu

A French veterinarian vaccinates a stork in the zoo of Mulhouse, eastern France. Picture / Reuters


Europe counts cost of bird flu, fresh cases emerge

04.03.06 1.00pm
By Peter Millership


LONDON - Europe's poultry industry counted the multi-million-dollar cost of the spread of bird flu in lost sales today after United States agencies urged more funds to fight a possible deadly human pandemic that could kill millions.

As the world took steps to prepare for such an outbreak, Romania and Greece detected new cases of the deadly H5N1 virus. Sweden and Switzerland found more bird flu in wild birds and Turkey in poultry flocks.

China issued a national bird flu warning that migratory birds returning during the spring could cause more human cases.

"There are some places where prevention and control efforts have weak links," Chinese Vice-Premier Hui Liangyu told a cabinet conference today. China has had 14 human cases of people infected with H5N1 bird flu, eight of them fatal.

H5N1 has killed birds in more than 30 countries in the Middle East, Asia, Europe and Africa. It has spread to 14 new countries in the past month and has infected 174 people since 2003, killing 94 of them.

Scientists say H5N1 is mutating steadily and may eventually acquire the changes it needs to be easily transmitted from human to human. Because people lack any immunity to it, it could sweep the world in a matter of weeks or months, killing tens of millions and bringing economies to their knees.

Congress agreed US$3.8 billion ($5.71 billion) of US$7.1 billion US President George W. Bush requested last year to fight a possible pandemic.

"But it really takes a lot of time and a lot of money. There are a lot of black boxes out there where something could emerge and we won't be able to find it," Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, told a House of Representatives appropriations subcommittee.

The World Health Organisation said today that a three-day meeting of experts in Geneva which starts next week would sharpen plans for containing any human bird flu pandemic.

France's poultry sector, the biggest in Europe, is now losing 40 million euros ($72.37 million) a month as bird flu hits sales at home and abroad, French officials said.

The Paris government has said more than 40 countries have restricted imports of French poultry following the outbreak of H5N1 at a turkey farm in the east of the country.

Germany's poultry industry has lost more than 140 million euros since last autumn because of bird flu, with demand down some 20 per cent from previous levels. Germany identified more than 140 cases of wild birds with H5N1, as well as a cat. It reported two new cases of bird flu today.

Hungarian poultry producers said their sales had fallen by up to 20 per cent since H5N1 was first found there in dead swans on February 21. Chicken sales were hardest hit.

But a health expert said bird flu in poultry did not pose a food safety risk as it is unlikely a sick chicken would be killed for consumption and cooking meat and eggs would kill the virus. Dr Judith Hilton, at Britain's Food Standards Agency, said salmonella posed more of a risk to consumers than bird flu.

Romania today detected H5N1 in domestic birds in a village west of Bucharest and in a goose in the city of Buzau.

Avian flu has been found in 40 villages and a small Black Sea resort since the virus was first detected in the Danube Delta in October. Birds have been culled swiftly and Romania has not reported any cases in humans.

Greece, where poultry sales are down by up to 80 per cent since the first case was reported in February, said three more H5N1 cases were confirmed in swans, bringing the total infected birds there to 22.

Turkey confirmed three new cases of the H5 strain of bird flu in poultry in an area west of Istanbul and said culling of birds was under way. Samples were being tested for H5N1.

Four children died of H5N1 in eastern Turkey in January, the first human fatalities outside east Asia.

Switzerland, which on Thursday said it had found its first case of the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus in a wild duck found in Geneva, discovered five more cases of H5 bird flu in wild birds. The birds were being tested for H5N1.

Sweden detected eight new cases of H5 in wild birds after its first suspected cases of H5N1 strain earlier this week.

Samples from four possible Nigerian human bird flu cases have arrived for tests at a laboratory in Britain, the WHO said.

An outbreak of H5N1 was confirmed at a commercial farm in Nigeria's Kaduna state on February 8 and has spread since to other states in Africa's most populous country.
 

Econ101

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Just got an email where bird flu death rate could be as high as 56%. I don't think any food prices will go up except locally if that is the case. There will not be anyone to eat it.
 

PORKER

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21% Beef, 32% Pork, 26% Poultry, 2% Turkey ,6% Lamb ,11% Goat ,and 2% other meat is consumed in the world on a daily basis.As you can see ,the big winners are beef, lamb ,and goat as their not infected by bird flue .Swine already is known to have died from Bird flu so it will be consumed at a lower rate once the Avain Flu gets started thus the head line of this thread.
As you see Econ101, no one in Europe is eating much poultry at this time and the growers have no place to sell their poultry products because of herd mentality.Europe's poultry industry counted the multi-million-dollar cost of the spread of bird flu in lost sales today even before 5 persons would have died.
 

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