Poultry PoliceTM - Chicken Pickin's From News Around The World...

Poultry News From Around the World - So... you have seen the Goofy Cam Web Pages... and now want some more useless stuff to view...
Hong Kong bans import of chickens

Hong Kong will kill and burn all chickens in the territory in a bid to rid itself of the "bird flu" that has killed four people and aroused fears worldwide of an epidemic, the government said on Sunday. 1.3 million chickens from about 1,000 markets and 160 farms in Hong Kong will go up in smoke, following a ban on imports from mainland China and intensive probes into the mysterious killer disease.

As an additional measure Director of Health Margaret Chan told a news conference that all poultry in retail markets, including geese and ducks kept near chickens, would be destroyed. Officials said about 1,000 personnel would be involved in the mass slaughter. The steps are being taken to prevent spreading of the "bird flu."

"From tomorrow morning, we will start destroying all the chickens in Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories," Secretary for Economic Services Stephen Ip told a news conference. He said the government was not concerned about the cost of the operation, and cared only about the public's health. Compensation would be paid to the thousands of people employed in the poultry business. Meanwhile, scuffles broke out between chicken-sellers and reporters, who are criticized by the poultry trade for exaggerating the bird flu problem and ruining business.

But the ban on Chinese imports would remain until the clean-up operation in Hong Kong was completed and it was certain that Chinese chickens were not infected, Liu said. Uncertainty remains over how humans are infected by the bird flu virus. Health officials have played down concerns that the disease is transmitted through the atmosphere, such as by coughing and sneezing, which could cause a rapid spread of the disease.

A Hong Kong flu in 1968 killed some 46,500 people worldwide. One of the mysteries surrounding the ailment is that no poultry workers, who would seem to be at high risk of catching such a disease, have been infected. Director of Health Chan stressed that the cluster of bird flu was no indication of an epidemic and, according to the WHO, there was no need for travel restrictions in Hong Kong or elsewhere in the world.

The mass slaughter could be a boon for exporters of frozen food to this territory, where chicken is a basic part of the diet of the 6.5 million people. Asked at the news conference what Hong Kong people would eat, one official encouraged people to buy frozen chickens from the United States or Australia.


Faster Than A Speeding Bullet

The FAA and the military test the strength of aircraft windshields by pointing a device that shoots a dead chicken at the plexiglass to see if the windows will survive a bird strike. Meanwhile the British recently built a new train that runs at higher speeds than normal and wanted to test their windshield strength. So they borrowed one of the testing machines, loaded a chicken and fired. The bird went through the windshield, through a seat, and made a major dent in the back wall of the engine cab. They were surprised by the result and asked the FAA to check the test to see if it was done correctly. The FAA checked and then suggested the British might want to repeat the test using a thawed chicken.


   

Turkey Head Found In Bird

Teresa McSweeney is suing her supermarket for emotional distress after she found a turkey head inside the bird's cavity. McSweeney claims the incident ruined her Thanksgiving dinner and is suing for medical bills after going to a therapist. The store claims that an employee was just doing a practical joke when he put the head in the turkey. McSweeney's attorney says such lawsuits send a message to corporations. McSweeney also has sued another store after finding a piece of plastic in her mashed potatoes. Play Turkey In The Straw  (You will need Netscape or the proper midi music plugins to hear music.)


Chicken Pluckers - High Injury Odds

It has been reported in The Book Of Risks that poultry processing workers have a 43 percent chance of facing an injury at work each year. Play The Chicken Dance . Everybody Dance!


China starts Ostrich Project

In a $3.6-million effort to start a poultry industry, yhe Xinjiang Poultry Technology Institute recently flew 73 ostriches from Zimbabwe, Africa to China. China plans to use ostriches for meat, leather, and feathers. I hope those 73 birds multiply quickly. And just how much did each of those long-necked non-flyers cost anyway? $3.6 million for the total project!


Poultry Worker Runs A Foul Of The Law...Poultry Worker Cries Foul

In Vandabijlpark, an industrial town 40 miles south of Johannesburg, South Africa, officers are being investigated in the torture of Peter Stofile, who was arrested last year when his boss at a poultry farm called police to say some money had disappeared from the cash register. To find out what happened, police immediately arrested all the workers at the poultry farm, including Stofile, 25. They tied a rope around his neck, he said, placed a balaclava over his face, "and they started to choke me. Then they put something on my penis, then they shocked me," he said. "I felt great pain. I made a lot of noise, but at the time, they were laughing."


Chicken Farmer Tries Mushrooms...

A Rimbey, Alberta, Canada poultry farmer has been jailed for growing and trafficking in magic mushrooms. Phillip Cartier, 37, decided to bring in some extra income aside from the poultry business and raised magic mushrooms. Police seized $37,000 worth of his crop. He was sentenced to 18 months in jail for possession of psilocybin (the active drug in the mushrooms.)


Live Chickens In The Thousands Dumped In Tel Aviv

In Tel Aviv, Israel a passerby noticed a truck dumping thousands of live chickens in the Hiriya dump. He notified the Municipal Veterinary Department and also a member of the Let the Animals Live Association, an animal rights group. The Tel Aviv Sanitation Department arrived to investigate along with Environment Minister Yossi Sarid.

The truck driver said that he had been hired to dispose of thousands of old hens that could no longer lay eggs.

Although the officials arrived too late to save all the elderly chickens from being buried alive, they did manage to save 600 which were taken to the facilities of the Veterinary Department. Squack!


Poultry Dealer Fowls Out...

Police in Port of Spain, Trinidad said that a poultry dealer had been picked up for questioning in connection with the death of Brian Hobbs, 37 years old, from Dania, Florida. Hobbs, an environmental consultand was in Trinidad conducting a business survey.


Vancouver, B.C. Butterball Caper - On December 23, letters bearing a downtown Vancouver postal code, arrived at Canada Safeway Ltd., Save-On-Foods supermarkets and various media outlets. Headlined "Attention Meat-Eating Scum," the ultimatum declared: "We are here to avenge the mass murder of millions of Christmas turkeys. Numerous turkey bodies have been injected with rat poison in the past week. The poisonings have been random and widely dispersed throughout the Lower Mainland at various Safeway and Save-On-Foods locations, with Lucerne and Butterball being the main targets. Various police departments, grocery stores, and media outlets have been notified and sample chickens have been given to the media. THIS IS NO PRANK. Ignore this warning and you will be accountable. Nobody eats turkeys, nobody gets hurt. "

The letter was from the Animal Rights Militia (ARM). Packaged chickens marked "Caution: Poisoned Poultry" arrived at The Vancouver Sun and U.TV News. Toxicology tests were made but found no contamination. The two supermarket chains plucked all fresh and frozen turkeys from their counters.

Greg Smith, regional director of federal health protection, issued a turkey warning, advising consumers to return recently purchased birds. Clerks handed out tens of thousands of replacement birds to earlier customers- -20,000 at Save-On Foods alone. Health Canada issued a news release stating that "Anyone who suspects that they may have consumed contaminated turkey and is experiencing symptoms of illness is encouraged to immediately contact the poison control centre."

Most rat poisons administer an anti-coagulant which, if taken in sufficient amounts, leads to excessive bleeding and bruising. "This is not a deadly poison," said Gillian Willis, supervisor of poison information for the B.C. Drug and Poison Information Centre. "If people do have these symptoms, it's easily treated." She added that eating two slices of tainted turkey meat "is unlikely to cause some serious injury."

More than 400 people phoned for information but none of them reported symptoms of ingesting rat poison. On December 25, the threat ruined Christmas dinner for many Lower Mainland residents and it gave the elusive ARM letter-writer national headlines. But apart from costing several tens of thousands of turkeys their holiday reprieve, and the two grocery chains an estimated $1 million, it accomplished nothing.

By New Year's Eve, no proof was found that any turkeys had been contaminated, no suspects had been identified, and no-one had been poisoned. The ARM acronym is familiar to U.S. law enforcement officials; it appeared on a list in an August 1993 Justice Department report to Congress on animal-rights terrorism. A private investigator who infiltrated the militant Earth First! organization for a year and monitored its activities for four more says there's mounting evidence that acts of eco-terrorism are being committed by a very small number of animal rights radicals.

Barry Clausen, an investigator for North American Research of Port Ludlow, Washington, says these terrorists "give themselves a different name each week." In 1991, the now-defunct Patrick Henry Press of Grass Valley, California, published a book titled A Declaration of War that has been distributed throughout the United States to members of Earth First! and other eco-anarchist and animal groups. As a practical guide to initiating mayhem it is fairly unimaginative: sending bomb threats to university research facilities that use animals; buying a semi-automatic rifle and going into the woods "to shoot a pot-bellied beer sucker," and leaking information to the media claiming "some meat purchased at a store was tainted with cyanide."

Recalls Mr. Clausen, "About 18 months ago I went to Safeway security in Seattle and told them they could anticipate a problem with tainted meat in the future." Though Mr. Clausen was unaware of ARM pranksters in Canada, they have made trouble here before. In January 1992, ARM claimed it had injected 87 Canadian Cold Buster candy bars in Edmonton and Calgary with liquid oven cleaner to protest allegedly cruel treatment of laboratory rats used to develop them. Police eventually found a corrosive substance in two bars, but their Penticton-based manufacturer, Okanagan Dried Fruits Ltd., had to recall 250,000 and lay off half of its 42 employees.

But the publicity served it well. The company improved its packaging and soon enjoyed higher-than-ever sales. No ARM members have ever been arrested. "I have no idea who's behind this latest threat in Vancouver," says Mr. Clausen. "But it's not difficult to figure out who could be involved. I ran a computer check on all the people in Vancouver who are, or could be, connected to animal rights groups and Earth First!. I came up with a dozen names. I faxed the information to the RCMP."

Mr. Clausen credits the RCMP for staying on top of eco-terrorism, but he says U.S. law enforcement officials have paid little attention to it. Says the investigator: "The magnitude of the threat is far beyond what most people realize. "