Dead birds “victims of vigilante action’
PHUKET: Fears surrounding the spread of avian ‘flu have led members of the public to take matters into their own hands and poison wild birds, it was claimed today. An autopsy conducted on a dead bird found in Phuket Town showed that it died from ingesting insecticide mixed with rice. Officers from the Phuket Provincial Livestock Office (PPLO) have examined other birds found dead in the past week – including a peacock – and said all had been similarly poisoned. Sunart Wongchawalit, the Chief of the PPLO, told the Gazette today that other provinces have reported similar unauthorized culls. Although cautious not to put a number on the deaths, K. Sunart said it seemed that the public was beginning its own vigilante action against the local bird population. Official steps taken to prevent the H5N1 virus from spreading to Phuket include a ban on all imports of poultry to the island, with officers concentrating their efforts on monitoring sea and land routes into the province. One person in neighboring Phang Nga province is suspected of having contracted the virus, and tens of thousands of birds have already been culled within a five-kilometer radius of a Takuapa farm where a number of birds were confirmed on Thursday to have died from avian ‘flu.
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