Humane reps can’t get to H5N1 sites in Croatia
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 2005:
DUBROVNIK–Concern that the potentially human-killing avian
flu H5N1 might hit Croatia during the October 18-19, 2005
International Companion Animal Welfare Conference in Dubrovnik proved
Though the spread of H5N1 from nearby parts of Romania,
Russia, and Turkey was considered inevitable, the first cases were
not actually detected until October 21, when six swans were found
dead at a fish farm near Zdenci National Park.
Tissue samples from the dead swans were rushed to Britain for
further testing, but Croatian officials did not wait for the
results before killing all 10,000 chickens and other domestic fowl
kept within three kilometers of where the swans were discovered.
Poultry product sales fell by hal
A similar poultry massacre followed when more dead swans were
found about 15 kilometres south of the first H5N1 outbreak–but wild
birds got a break, when health officials cancelled the hunting
seasons for ducks, geese, and woodcocks. Pheasant hunting was
briefly suspended, then reinstated, after the proprietors of
commercial hunting estates complained about their anticipated losses.
Most of the representatives of international animal advocacy
groups who converged on Dubrovnik were still in Croatia when the
poultry massacres started, due to limited flight schedules.
However, several representatives who looked into monitoring the
slaughter to see that the most humane practicable procedures were
followed found that almost the only way to get to Zdenci was to fly
to Britain first, then fly to Hungary, rent a car, and drive.
Complaints about the slaughter methods were subsequently
amplified by Animal Friends Croatia (see below), who complained that
the killing was an exercise in mass hysteria.
Defined by ethnic warfare rather than geographic logic,
Croatia is shaped like the letter “C.” Zdenci is along the upper
edge of the “C.” Zagreb, the national capital, is at the back of
the “C.” Dubrovnik lies alongside the Adriatic Sea at the extreme end
of the lower portion. The interior of the “C” is Bosnia &