Monday, July 24, 2006

KAKAPO PARROTS - Bird flu strategy for natives still up in the air

New Zealand's STUFF reports that officials are still working with the New Zealand Department of Conservation to decide which native birds should be vaccinated if there happens to be an outbreak of bird flu on the islands.
"Vaccination may be used in certain species or situations as a short-term measure when there is a significant and immediate threat," said biosecurity official Ron Thornton.

"Emergency vaccination may be used in New Zealand to avoid local spread, or to protect socially or culturally valuable collections or in threatened indigenous birds".
Because flightless birds such as ostriches and emus have shown susceptibility overseas to bird flu strains, kiwi are likely to be front-runners for vaccination, as are the highly inbred black robin and kakapo species.

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