Migratory birds not behind avian influenza: WWF

Rejecting official claims that migratory birds are responsible for the spread of the H5N1 strain of avian influenza (AI), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has warned of serious repercussions against wild bird populations and their habitats if people at the helm of affairs continued to issue statements that have no scientific grounds. In a statement, the WWF said: "Though there is some evidence to back the case that migratory wild birds can spread the H5N1 virus, they are not the main source of the virus, nor are they solely responsible for the spread of H5N1. No fully documented healthy migratory wild birds have tested positive for H5N1. In fact, it seems that with the degradation and destruction of lakes and wetlands, migratory birds are forced to feed and live in areas populated by domestic poultry (and humans), putting the wild birds at risk of infection.' Highlighting some scientific facts, the WWF said none of the samples collected by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) from between 300,000 to 350,000 wild birds across the world were found positive for H5N1. Likewise, a sampling of 5,000 water-birds after an outbreak in Nigeria during 2006 found no traces of the virus. After a comprehensive critical review of recent scientific literature, it has been concluded that the poultry trade