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  • UK: Hungary Import Link?

    So how many turkeys are dead at their other farm?

    Hungary import link' to bird flu

    The bird flu outbreak at a Bernard Matthews' farm in Suffolk may be linked to imports from the firm's plant in Hungary, the government has said.

    The pathogenic H5N1 strain was found on a Hungarian geese farm in January.

    Deputy Chief Vet Fred Landeg said a possible route of infection was from imported "poultry product".

    The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said preliminary scientific tests showed the two viruses "may well be identical".

    "Defra, the Food Standards Agency and the Health Protection Agency are investigating the possibility of a link between the Hungarian outbreaks, poultry meat from Hungary and the introduction of disease in the farm in Suffolk," it added.

    The risk to human health remains negligible and properly cooked poultry is safe to eat, it said.

    Imports suspended

    Tens of thousands of turkeys have been culled at the Bernard Matthews farm at Holton, about 27km south-west of Lowestoft as a precaution.

    The company also has a division in Sarvar, Hungary.

    Defra said Bernard Matthews was temporarily suspending the movement of poultry products between the two outlets until the investigation is complete.

    In a statement, Bernard Matthews said it continues to work closely with Defra in its investigation.

    "We are cooperating fully and as a precautionary measure we have volunteered to cease any movements to and from Hungary," it said.

    "We want to reassure consumers that Bernard Matthews products are perfectly safe to eat."

  • #2
    Re: UK: Hungary Import Link?

    Experts probe bird flu link to Hungary



    08 February 2007 19:30

    East Anglia's biggest poultry processor faced some tough questions tonight as the government said the strain of bird flu found at a farm in Suffolk may have been brought in via imports from Hungary.

    Less than a day after Bernard Matthews ?absolutely ruled out? any link to the recent Hungarian outbreak, deputy chief vet Fred Landeg said the two viruses ?may well be identical?.

    The beleaguered company, which has a division in Sarvar, Hungary, has agreed to temporarily suspend the movement of poultry products between its outlets in the two countries.

    Experts from Defra, the Food Standards Agency and the Health Protection Agency will now step up their investigation into the possible link.

    The highly pathogenic H5N1 strain was found in Hungary in January.

    Mr Landeg said a possible route of infection was from imported ?poultry product?.

    A Defra statement said: ?Defra, the Food Standards Agency and the Health Protection Agency are investigating the possibility of a link between the Hungarian outbreaks, poultry meat from Hungary and the introduction of disease in the farm in Suffolk.?

    It added that the risk to human health remained negligible and properly cooked poultry was safe to eat.

    The infection killed 2,500 turkeys in Holton, near Halesworth, last week before vets moved in to slaughter the remaining 160,000 birds at the site.

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    • #3
      Re: UK: Hungary Import Link?

      What kind of 'turkey products'? And how did it get to infect the birds in that one infected shed?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: UK: Hungary Import Link?

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main...birdflu108.xml


        How many more lies?

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        • #5
          Re: UK: Hungary Import Link?

          the partially processed turkey product must have not of been fully cooked before fed to the UK turkeys.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: UK: Hungary Import Link?

            I don't know what kind of poultry product they might feed to their turkeys, but we should not be quick to dismiss the link. Remember the outbreak of mad cow disease was directly linked to feeding beef cattle ground up parts from diseased cows.

            curious

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            • #7
              Re: UK: Hungary Import Link?

              Excuse me??? Forced turkey cannabilism??? Seriously? Would this be a common practice in all poultry operations?

              At least the BSE product was processed into pellets of feed.

              Please someone point me to an emergency course on how to become a vegetarian.

              J.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: UK: Hungary Import Link?

                I agree the link must not be immediately dismissed, but its very curious and odd.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: UK: Hungary Import Link?

                  Perhaps the Hungarian Turkeys haven't actually been "paritally processed"? Is it cheeper to raise a turkey in Hungary sneak it into the UK and then process it? Perhaps processed turkeys from Hungary can't be considered "premium"?

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                  • #10
                    Re: UK: Hungary Import Link?

                    I did an internet search to find out what is in poultry "chick" feed. Up to 20% is meat protein. It satnds to reasone that this could easily be derived from other poultry. Here are the ingredients from a "popular" feed.

                    7 CHICK MASH MIXES FROM CORNELL UNIVERSITY


                    yellowcorn meal
                    wheat middlings
                    wheat bran
                    ground oats
                    alfalfa meal
                    dried milk
                    dried whey
                    meat meal
                    fish meal
                    soybean meal
                    grnd oyster shell
                    salt

                    75
                    40
                    20
                    20
                    10
                    10
                    0
                    20
                    0
                    0
                    4
                    1

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                    • #11
                      Re: UK: Hungary Import Link?

                      Fishmeal is usually the preferred protein source. Meat unusual because not economic.

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                      • #12
                        Re: UK: Hungary Import Link?

                        As far as I understand the consignments of turkeys from Hungary were processed into food for human consumption and not animal feed. The farm at Holton has a large factory unit alongside the rearing sheds. A lot of the products use mechanically recovered meat so I am no sure how processed the imported birds were.
                        This article suggests another means by which infection could have spread.

                        "A Whitehall source said there were concerns about bio-security at the processing plant, which lies adjacent to the Holton farm, where the infected birds were found. Officials from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) are looking at allegations that scraps of meat are sometimes left lying around the floor of the plant and are scavenged by rats and wild birds, creating a possible route for infection."

                        http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_ne...008935,00.html

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: UK: Hungary Import Link?

                          I am wondering what they do with the parts that aren't processed for human consumption. The intestines, feathers, crops, feet, beaks, lungs, heart etc.. Rather than wast them by carting them away and incinerating them, why not process them for "animal feed." Wouldn't this be considered economical?

                          More Than Curious

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: UK: Hungary Import Link?

                            I don't what the laws are in the UK, but commercial livestock feed in the US is allowed to contain a certain precentage of poultry 'litter'.

                            They banned it for awhile when everyone was concerned about mad cow disease but allowed it again later.

                            From what I've read, poultry 'litter' is made up of many things I'd rather not see fed to animals that end up on my table.

                            this is a link to just one article. If you research the topic, animal waste of all kinds are routinely fed to animals.
                            http://ucsusa.org/food_and_environme...-eat-what.html
                            Last edited by prepdeb; February 8, 2007, 08:20 PM. Reason: add link
                            "There's a chance peace will come in your life - please buy one" - Melanie Safka
                            "The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be" - Socrates

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                            • #15
                              Re: UK: Hungary Import Link?

                              I normally do not copy entire articles but this episode is critical.

                              http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle1356200.ece

                              February 09, 2007
                              Bernard Matthews faces ?illegal? imports inquiryValerie Elliott, Countryside Editor

                              Bernard Matthews is under investigation by the Government amid concerns that the company has imported poultry from inside an avian flu exclusion zone in Hungary, it emerged last night.

                              The company, Britain?s largest turkey producer, is also being investigated for breaking EU hygiene regulations by leaving processed poultry outside sheds on its food processing site at Suffolk, where a lethal strain of bird flu was detected last week, according to senior Whitehall sources.

                              Another three of the units of the 22 at the Bernard Matthews farm in Holton, Suffolk, have tested positive for H5N1, it emerged last night, raising fears that the virus was more entrenched than originally hoped. Government scientists will be looking at establishing how the virus spread from hut to hut, or whether all four huts suffered separate, independent infections from the same source.

                              The Government has found that the strain of the virus in both countries may well be identical. If the imported birds were infected with the H5N1 strain, this virus could easily have been picked up by wild birds and rats, which may have contaminated the chicks in one of the 22 sheds on the site at Holton. T
                              he initial report by veterinary scientists into the conditions of the plant where 160,000 turkey chicks were gassed this week may prove serious for Bernard Matthews and his ?400 million-a-year business.

                              The investigation also poses questions about the practices employed by the ?3.4 billion British poultry industry. Bernard Matthews agreed last night to suspend all further trade between Hungary and the UK. The company said that it was cooperating fully with the investigation. A spokesman said: ?We want to reassure consumers that Bernard Matthews products are safe to eat.?

                              Bart Dalla Mura, the company?s commercial director, said on Monday that there ?wasn?t a remote possibility? that the bird flu outbreaks could be linked.

                              State veterinary scientists want to establish if any birds processed at the company?s Hungarian factories originated in the Csongrad region where the H5N1 strain was confirmed at a commercial goose farm on January 24. A second outbreak in that area was confirmed on January 30.

                              Under European regulations no birds should be moved in a 3km zone around infected farms and in the further 10km surveillance zone.

                              But it has now emerged that 37 tonnes of partly processed turkeys have been arriving in Britain from Bernard Matthews Hungarian plants every week. A delivery arrived at the plant just a couple of days before January 27, when workers first spotted signs of illness in the eight-week-old chicks.

                              This detail is understood to have been withheld on grounds of commercial confidentiality.

                              Scientists must also ascertain whether the company imported birds from these infected regions in breach of Brussels rules. The Hungarian Government said that they imposed strict controls in the areas and this was approved by Brussels.

                              The inquiry is being conducted jointly by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Food Standards Agency and the Health Protection Agency. The focus is on links between the company?s operation in Holton and Hungary.

                              The H5N1 virus can survive for five to thirty-five days. Experts said that the chilling and freezing process could extend the life of the flu strain. In the open air the virus could last seven to ten days.

                              The scientists? findings are certain to be serious for Bernard Matthews, which intitially denied any links between Hungary and the UK. Further tests are being made on carcasses in a pile of processed poultry waste found outside the plant. If the turkeys were infected the virus could also last three to seven days and could then be passed on to wild birds.

                              Government sources ruled out any concerns for the moment about any worker bringing the virus to the UK on shoes or boots. The company is likely to face legal action for breaches of biosecurity rules.

                              Whitehall sources last night confirmed that it was still ?early days? for the inquiry.

                              But wildlife experts were privately delighted by the way that the Government was scrutinising the poultry industry.

                              Conservationists had insisted that it was impossible to blame the arrival of the H5N1 virus into commercial poultry on wild birds, when not one bird had been found with the disease in the UK or northern Europe.

                              Peter Ainsworth, Conservative Rural Affairs spokesman, said last night: ?It always seemed unlikely that avian flu arrived in Suffolk via the wild bird population, since there has to date been no evidence of infected wild birds. Bernard Matthews have some very serious questions to answer about . . . the version of events they have told.?

                              EU regulations ban imports of live poultry from areas that may harbour bird flu. Countries must prevent poultry movement from infected areas.

                              In the light of foot-and-mouth and the bird-flu scare, Defra have also issued strict guidelines for biosecurity.

                              The first defence against infection is wearing clean overalls and footwear when entering poultry farms.

                              -30-
                              Thought has a dual purpose in ethics: to affirm life, and to lead from ethical impulses to a rational course of action - Teaching Reverence for Life -Albert Schweitzer. JT

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