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Expert says killing of rare black-faced spoonbill due to flu fears was unnecessary

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  • Expert says killing of rare black-faced spoonbill due to flu fears was unnecessary

    Endangered bird with avian flu put down in Taiwan

    • CNA
    • 2015-03-08
    • 09:27 (GMT+8)

    Veterinarian Chen Pei-chung euthanized the bird because there was no suitable ward for it and due to fear of the further spread of the virus, Chang said.
    Yet Wild Bird Society of Tainan secretary-general Kuo Tung-hui, who along with other members had sent 14 sick black-faced spoonbills, including the one put to sleep, to the bureau beginning March 1 for treatment of botulinum toxin, criticized the bureau's decision.
    "Kuo cried when he saw the bird he wanted to save had to die and I myself felt sad too," Chen said.
    Kuo said that there are only about 3,000 black-faced spoonbills left in the world, and 1,800 of them migrate to Taiwan for the winter. If they need to be treated in a negative pressure ward, he wondered if they could be sent to isolation wards for people, or somewhere else that would keep it in isolation.
    Cheng Chien-chung, an associate professor of Kaohsiung Medical University, said negative pressure ward treatment was not necessary, adding that the sick bird could have been simply put in a place that isolated it from other animals.
    Cheng stressed that there could be another case of a black-faced spoonbill infected with the avian flu virus, and the COA should set up a standard operating procedure in treating the sick birds, and not put any more of these endangered species to sleep...
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