MEP: INHUMANE BIRD SLAUGHTER HEIGHTENS ‘FLU RISK
CRUEL and chaotic culling of chickens and ducks in Turkey undermine World
Health Organisation guidelines and heighten the risk of spreading bird ’flu,
a Euro-MP has warned.
Caroline Lucas, Green Party MEP for South-East England and formerly
vice-chair of the EU inquiry into the UK’s 2001 Foot and Mouth Disease
Epidemic, said the chaotic response to bird ‘flu in parts of Turkey was
causing needless distress, pain and suffering to domestic birds – and
increasing the risk of humans catching the disease.
Dr Lucas said: “The authorities have called on selected poultry keepers to
cull and bury their own birds.
“This has led to inhumane treatment, in direct contravention of the World
Organisation for Animal Health’s guidelines, and an increased exposure of
humans to dead infected birds, the cause of all recorded deaths from avian
“Some of the scenes from Turkey have been truly distressing: images have
been broadcast around the world of live chickens being stuffed into bags and
tossed into open graves of culled birds.”
World Organisation for Animal Health guidelines, of which Turkey is a
signatory, say slaughter methods must result in immediate unconsciousness
and must not cause anxiety, pain, distress or suffering in the animals.
The WHO’s own recommendations in its ‘Responding to the Avian Influenza
Pandemic Threat’ describes the home-slaughter of birds as ‘high-risk
Dr Lucas, who is also vice-president of the RSPCA and the European
Parliament’s cross-party animal welfare group, has written to the WHO and
the European Commission urging them to intervene to prevent further inhumane
bird slaughter in Turkey.
She added: “The selective cull of diseased and healthy birds is being
carried out by untrained individuals in a chaotic, inhumane and dangerous
“The WHO and EU must offer Turkey – and other affected nations – the support
they need to bring avian ‘flu under control, and that it is done so with due
regard to international rules on protecting human health and animal