FAO proposes spending $6.8mn to track wild birds
The United Nation's Food and Agriculture
Organisation (FAO) is considering a plan to spend US$6.8 million to fit wild
birds with tiny backpacks and monitor their annual migrations to understand
better the spread of bird flu.
Under the plan thousands of wild birds would be captured before they migrate,
and sample birds tested for the bird flu virus, then some will be fitted with
tiny backpacks containing telemetry equipment, which weigh less than 51 grams,
before being released.
Once released the birds' every move will be
tracked through communications satellites and a network of
When the birds stop for a rest they will be recaptured and
retested. If a positive result for bird flu is found the FAO would then have a
good idea where the infection originated and where it might head
Joseph Domenech, chief veterinary officer of the FAO, was cited
as saying with regard to the current bird flu situation: "All we have now is a
snapshot. We need to see the whole film."
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