See warmwell's avian flu page
Monday 24 October BBC World at Onehttp://www.bbc.co.uk/radio.
"..............Parrots aren't particularly susceptible to influenza, and this one came from South America, not Asia, the continent from which bird flu is advancing into Europe. This parrot came from Surinam on September 16th and was taken to a quarantine centre where a consignment of birds from Taiwan were being kept. They were to be released from quarantine this week. Although this case was caught in quarantine and all the birds have been culled, it raises questions about just how effective Britain's defences are.
Alan Jones is a leading avian vet and the ex-chairman of the parrot society.
"It seems that the birds were mixed from two different batches within the same quarantine;the parrots came from South America and the other birds, finches included, came from Taiwan and it seems to have been a South East Asian bird that was carrying the virus which then spread to the parrot."So is it all right to mix up birds like this?
"In my opinion, no. I have supervised a number of avian quarantines for various people and always we've had different groups of birds have had their different areas and their different air space so that this sort of thing doesn't happen. My understanding of the situation this time round is that both groups of birds were being imported by the same importer and regulations allowed these two groups to be mixed - but a why anybody should be importing birds from South East Asia anyway in the present climate anyway and b why they should be thinking of mixing them with South American birds is beyond belief...Presenter: ...if Europe doesn't agree, is there any way that Britain could act on its own?
.DEFRA has said they will be working on this immediately.
...Avian flu comes into the country every year with migrating water fowl but these are mild strains. I mean never before have we had outbreaks of avian flu in parrots - they are not highly sensitive to the infection so certainly culling pet parrots that have been kept indoors for years would be a nonsensical solution. These birds are just not vulnerable
...speaking both personally and as a representative of the parrot society..there is no need for wild-caught birds to be imported into the UK..there are very good reasons not to be importing wild-caught birds into the UK anyway, but certainly in the present situation all such importations should cease immediately..."
Debby Reynolds: No