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Bird flu and the Pensions Crisis

I have never been particularly fond of conspiracy theories, but Defra's
knack for fostering them, has even got me wondering now!...

Here's my Bizarre Conspiracy Theory (yes I know its nonsense, but on the
other hand the evidence is pretty compelling!!)....

Has Defra been secretly recruited by the Treasury and Dept of Work and
Pensions to solve the pensions-crisis "black hole" in the UK economy by
accelerating human mortality rates?

a) Defra advises thousands of extensive poultry keepers in Scotland to keep
their 250,000 birds indoors full-time so that the people entering the
buildings to deal with the birds are exposed to a greater chance of
breathing-in any H5N1 virus that the birds may have acquired. Also a greater
chance of breathing/touching virus that the birds might acquire via a
variety of routes, given that extensive producers rarely have bird-proof
housing, virus-filtered air inlets, or bird-and-cat-proof feed sources.
Housing birds also ensures a good "plume" of virus-contaminated outlet air
that can spread to adjacent flocks and homes on damp nights.

Influenza viruses just love over-crowded, poorly-ventilated conditions,
especially where humans and birds come together and allow human and bird
viruses to mix and share genetic material.

b) A prolonged period of housing raises the stress, disease and mortality
rates for free-range birds and their ill-equipped-for-housing  owners, who
are already stress by consumer panic (see below) and loss of premium meat
and egg revenues. How long will the bird flu risk remain? A year, two years?
Long-term uncertaintly and poverty kills more people than short-term stress
and poverty.

c) While professing to the public that there is "no need to panic", Defra
sets up a 965 square mile control and surveillance zone around a single dead
bird (in which the virus was long-dead) and sends people in biological
protection suits to collect up any more bird "stiffs" (rigor mortis carcases
with no viable virus) that you find. Meanwhile,  birds from infected
countries cross the channel freely to all parts of the U.K.

This kind of mixed "No need for you to panic, but we certainly are!" Defra
message (familiar from the days of BSE and FMD) is far more scary than
simply saying "Let's all panic!" - it's more scary because not only is there
a panic on, we also have a situation where "Our Nanny" Defra is "speaking
with forked tongue" and cannot be relied on for full and honest information
upon which we could make our own best decisions.

d) The Defra and the government assure us that the "bird flu" situation is
"under control" (as it did with BSE and FMD, so there's clearly no need to
panic!) and detailed contingency plans are on hand. These assurances fly
desperately in the face of world-wide experience, to date, which
conclusively shows that this virus is uncontrollable in wild birds, and only
controlled in domestic flocks by killing them before the virus gets to them.
(This latter information guarantees more panic and re-awakened traumatic
memories by anyone who remembers the contiguous cull of 2001 and the
catastrophic BSE events of the 1980s).

The thing that could realistically make a big difference to our bird flu
situation is a dry, warm summer - terribly bad for virus survival.

Confusion, misinformation and worry are killers, and Defra knows how to
unleash them!

e) At a time when NHS staff (useful people to have around if influenza
should take off in humans!) are being made redundant because of
money-shortages, Defra spends money "like water" on diagnostic
investigations, communication exercises and control measures that are doomed
to fail in the impossible struggle against the relentless spread of this
virus. Maintaining the (now traditional) slaughter-everything-that-might
be-infected and the non-science-based 3 km protection and 10 km surveillance
zones around continuing outbreaks could rack us up into some pretty big
national bills, not to mention the direct and indirect costs to rural
businesses and the food chain. Still, we can always cut more NHS staff, with
a knock-on benefit to mortality rates!

Filling that black hole in the UK economy and soving the
pensions/nursing-care-for-the-elderly funding crisis could be only a bird
flu epidemic away!