I'm in the big city with the boys in blue today and before I go, back once again to the risk of flu again and a release by the Thanet North MP calling for the humane slaughter of birds in Turkey. It is entirely possible that H5N1 of avian flu will evolve into the cause of a pandemic. Worryingly, this flu strain has already gone through a number of variants and each time seems to have become more deadly, tougher, more easily spread and capable of attacking more species.
The 1918 “Spanish flu” killed between 50 million and 100 million people and although the 1918 outbreak is often seen as an anomaly, almost one hundred years earlier, the pandemic of 1830 to 1832 was, in fact, equally virulent.
MP Roger Gale is calling for the humane slaughter of any birds that need to be destroyed as a result of the spread of avian flu into Europe.
In a written question to the Foreign Secretary that will appear on the order paper today (Monday) for answer on Wednesday the MP asks to Government to make representations to the Turkish Government to try to ensure the humane execution of infected and associated birds.
"Some of the scenes of birds being stuffed into sacks and buried alive have been horrific" says the MP. "We all know that the potential spread of the disease is very serious and some of us have been calling for months for further preventative measures to protect farmed birds to be put into place, but if birds do have to be slaughtered then at least, in a civilised society, let it be done humanely.
I also believe that we must ensure that plans are in place to carry out not just localised but mass culling throughout the European Union should this become necessary. If plans are not in place then it is easy to foresee a truly grim situation should panic and disorganised culling take place".