• past eyepoppers
• click for original
[EXCERPT: ... a television station showed junior vets throwing live birds into an open fire during a culling campaign to halt the spread of bird flu.]
Romania sacks chief vets after birds burned alive
November 28, 2005
BUCHAREST, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Romania sacked two of its chief veterinarians on Monday after a television station showed junior vets throwing live birds into an open fire during a culling campaign to halt the spread of bird flu.
Private television station Antena 3 broadcast pictures of a man wringing the neck of a goose before throwing the bird into a fire. It then showed the distressed bird bursting into flames.
"I ordered the immediate sacking of the chief vet from the Braila county and of his deputy because they mishandled the operation. We all saw the television images," Agriculture Minister Gheorghe Flutur said.
Romania culled up to 17,000 birds on Sunday, quarantining a remote village to prevent bird flu from spreading westward towards more populated areas after avian flu was detected outside the Danube delta for the first time.
The images outraged animal rights groups who said Romania was failing to comply with standards it must meet as it gears up to join the European Union as early as 2007.
"I still can't get over these images of cruelty," said Ioana Tomescu, executive director of animal welfare group Vier Pfoten (Four Paws) Romania.
On Saturday, authorities said a turkey from the small village of Scarlatesti, in Braila county, tested positive for the H5 type of avian flu.
Samples have been sent to Britain to determine whether it is the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain which has killed more than 60 people in Asia since 2003.
Poisoning with carbon dioxide is the generally approved method for culling large numbers of poultry. Experts say any method must be safe, human and efficient.
^ ^ ^ TOP