Who thought this was a Bright Idea?

(3 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Scientists make chickens that don’t spread bird flu

British scientists have developed genetically modified (GM) chickens that cannot transmit bird flu infections — a step that in future could reduce the risk of avian flu spreading and causing deadly epidemics in humans.

Scientists from Cambridge and Edinburgh universities said that while the transgenic chickens still got sick and died when they were exposed to H5N1 bird flu, they didn’t transmit the virus to other chickens they came into contact with.

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Experts say the danger is that the virus will evolve into a form that people can easily catch and pass to one another, causing the transmission rate to soar and producing a pandemic in which millions of people could die.

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“Countries like China are interested in the possibility of genetic modification to protect their poultry stocks and people,” she said. “It will inevitably be more expensive because you’d have to use the products of breeding companies to stock the producers.” At the same time, the need for vaccination and losses from whole flocks being infected should be reduced.

While large poultry producers could benefit from this early type of transgenic bird, smaller “backyard” farmers would need to wait until scientists create birds that can be bred on small farms. “That would be a means of ensuring that the birds these small farmers bred themselves still carried the protective transgene,” Tiley said.

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The researchers said they now plan to work on trying to make chickens that are fully resistant to bird flu rather than just blocking bird-to-bird transmission.

I understand the need to control disease, to keep plagues from happening.

But I think there is a less severe…. more rational…. more natural way to accomplish this.

How about let’s try not putting 30,000 – 50,000 chickens in a 25X100 ft building?

Give them space to move around, access to outside air, grass, bugs.

How about let’s try not inoculating them with antibiotics just-in-case?

How about let’s try feeding them grain that doesn’t contain chicken parts?

Yes. It will cost more. Yes. It won’t be as efficient for the producer.

But it will most certainly reduce disease & produce healthier chickens.

Isn’t that more important?

37 comments

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    • RiaD on January 22, 2011 at 7:07 pm
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    • Edger on January 22, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    not buying them, or eating them, too?

  1. chickens? Jeeze what a disgusting bunch of Frankenstein scientists we have. People give me grief say I’m anti  science, but when the primary goal of the science is to make a profit from the ‘truths’ they discover (like these truth haven’t always been there) then they aren’t scientists they are techies who only truth are what they can make for industry or the agents of war. disgusting this is not progress.    

    • RiaD on January 22, 2011 at 9:53 pm
      Author

    ‘preciate it!

  2. chickens Pictures, Images and Photos

    chickens Pictures, Images and Photos

    Chickens! Pictures, Images and Photos

    The factory farmed chickens typically spend their lives inside a cage with several other chickens, without sufficient room to ever spread their wings.  For those who dare to read more, you can go here, here, here and finally here, which includes the following excerpt:

    There are about 300 million laying hens in the United States; of these, some 95 percent are kept in wire battery cages, which allow each hen an average of 67 square inches of space less than the size of a standard sheet of paper. For perspective, a hen needs 72 square inches of space to be able to stand up straight and 303 square inches to be able to spread and flap her wings. There is no room even for the hens to perform self-comforting behaviors such as preening and bathing. Hens are usually kept eight or nine to a cage; long tiers of these cages are built one upon another in sheds that hold tens of thousands of birds, none of whom has enough room to raise a wing. Excrement falls from the top cages to the lower ones, causing the same ammonia burn problem as in the broiler houses. Like chickens raised for meat, laying hens are debeaked as chicks. The hens are deprived of the ability to create nests for their eggs, which instead drop through the wires of the cage for collection. This inability to engage in instinctive behavior causes great frustration.

    Since discontinuing all animal-based foods almost six years ago, I’ve avoided the large majority of unpleasant surprises to which those consuming a more varied diet are exposed. I decided that I needed to learn more about what I was eating, and once I did that, simply could not eat meat any more. Once I learned more yet about the dairy and poultry industry, it became impossible to eat any egg or dairy products. At first, I panicked, wondering what I’d eat, but have since found a great variety of food items that are very palatable and don’t miss any the food that was once part of my diet.  

    I realize that most people (probably 99% of the population) are not ready to take such a step and seem to avoid learning more about what they are eating, probably realizing that they, as well, may feel compelled to do as I have done. If one takes even baby steps in that direction, they will discover that there are many great non-animal-based menu options.

    Thanks for posting this, RiaD!

  3. I didn’t think of myself as a hero of some kind because I had a bunch of chickens and let them do what they do.  These photos make me sick.  I don’t eat chicken, but I do eat eggs.  The entire thing is enough to make one puke.

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