Iowa Public Television


Poultry Producers Deflect Avian Flu Worries

posted on October 7, 2005

Eastern Shore poultry farmers in Maryland pleaded for calm this week after President Bush said he's growing more concerned about avian flu possibly spreading to people.

Farmers and state officials say current safeguards are adequate to prevent a pandemic of the disease in humans.

"There's reason for concern, of course, and it's not something we should ignore, but I don't think it poses a great threat in this country. We're ahead of the curve," said farmer Doug Green, who raises 100,000 broilers in Princess Anne, MD.

Bush said this week that he is worried about a human bird flu pandemic in the United States, and he called on Congress to allow the military to enforce mass human quarantines if necessary.

Typically, state and local authorities deal with quarantine decisions -- isolating the sick and closing large gatherings where diseases might spread.

Scientists say it's only a matter of time before a worldwide influenza outbreak. Concern is rising it could be triggered by the avian flu called H5N1.

Tags: agriculture animals birds chickens diseases influenza news poultry