The scheduled airdate for this important story about live poultry markets and bird flu is Monday, June 5th on the WB 11 News @ Ten (Fact Finders) in New York City. It will be available for viewing online the following morning at www.wb11.com/factfinders
Live bird markets spread avian influenza viruses, strains of which can infect humans. The virus passes from bird to bird via the droppings, breathing, coughing and sneezing of infected birds made vulnerable to disease under crowded, filthy, stressful conditions.
New York’s live bird markets are linked to frequent outbreaks of avian influenza of varying levels of virulence. Disease is inevitable in New York’s live bird markets, which, like all such markets, contain sick and older birds – “spent fowl” – purchased at auctions or anywhere without any records being kept of where the birds originally came from – other markets, backyard flocks, poultry industry, etc. Nothing has changed since New York State Veterinarian Dr. John Huntley told United Poultry Concerns in 1995, “We don’t know the state of origin.”
The New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets told UPC that no one traces what happens to birds who are not sold and that market “refuse” is “handled as typical garbage.” Live markets are not supposed to sell live birds to customers without authorization, but who knows, given that government inspections are required (on paper) only 4 or 5 times a year per market for “monitoring,” and penalties for infractions are lax to non-existent.
A typical New York live bird market can be seen in the UPC video “Inside a Live Poultry Market,” which features the Ely Live Poultry Market in the Bronx, and which WB 11 News (Fact Finders) reviewed in preparation for the Monday night broadcast, which is also expected to include footage from a meeting held on May 17 in the town of Central Islip on Long Island, where residents are fighting to keep a live bird market from being established in their neighborhood.