A pandemic may be enough. “Don’t shoot migratory birds”

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“Leave migratory birds alone”. There AntiVivisection League sent to Government an urgent request for intervention, so that migratory birds are excluded from the list of huntable species and therefore from the hunting calendars of all Regions. In view of the worrying spread of the avian virus H5N8, in fact, already in November 2020 the Government had intervened by imposing a ban on the use of some species of decoy birds, subsequently reinforced by a further ban on the release of pheasants used for the repopulation of hunting areas.

In these weeks the Regions are preparing the hunting calendars for the hunting season 2021/22, which report the animal species and the periods in which they can be hunted. Among these there are numerous species of migratory birds which, especially as regards aquatic species, represent the main reservoirs of the avian influenza virus.

It is the same national reference center for avian flu, set up at the Zooprophylactic Institute of the Venezie, to warn about the risks of developing a new pandemic starting from the avian flu virus. Regarding the virus of which wild birds are carriers, the reference center specifies that “Given the high frequency with which these viruses undergo mutation phenomena, there is a concrete possibility that a new virus can originate from an animal reservoir to which the human population is susceptible. allowing the disease to spread globally, thus causing a pandemic. Contrary to normal flu epidemics, a pandemic would involve large sections of the population, not only what is defined as “at risk”, but also young and healthy individuals.”.

Even the magazine Science on 21 May last he published an article in which he underlined the concrete risk of triggering another pandemic linked to the spread of the avian virus H5N8, concluding that it is necessary to strengthen health surveillance in poultry farms, in live animal markets and in wild birds. For the latter in particular, he indicated that surveillance should be strengthened by avoiding interactions with wild birds, prohibiting their hunting and food use.

“In view of the serious risks associated with the spread of the avian influenza virus – says Massimo Vitturi, LAV manager, Wild Animals Area – we therefore wrote to the Ministers of Health, Ecological Transition and Agricultural Policies, asking that a ban on hunting migratory birds be introduced in the next hunting season ”.

After several reports in the last year in Russia of the highly pathogenic H5N8 strain from China In recent weeks the news of a first human case from a new strain theH10N3. Dangerous viruses, the ones they harbor in wild birds but also breeding, and which according to experts may represent a new potential pandemic threat. For this, they must be closely monitored. And, possibly, not favorites.

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