Open thread

All things birding can be found at I and the Bird #42, so wing your way over there and check it out.

Visit Friday Ark #125 throughout the weekend for plenty of animal fun.

More news about cats and H5N1 avian influenza: “The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said today that cats should be monitored for signs of bird flu or avian influenza. They said that cats, like humans, can become infected with the deadly strain of the H5N1 virus that causes avian flu, possibly from eating infected birds, or from being in very close contact with infected birds or their feces. But they emphasize there is no evidence of a sustained cat to cat transmission or of cats passing the deadly strain to humans.”  Unfortunately, I suspect this will be the foundation of a terrible culling of felines.  Why?  “They mention that people have become alarmed by reports that cats in Indonesia have become infected with the deadly version of H5N1 from scavenging on dead and sick infected birds near markets in Java and Sumatra where H5N1 avian flu has recently been detected.”  And cats with H5N1 have been discovered “in Thailand, Russia, Iraq, Turkey and other countries in the EU.”  It’s important to note that evidence suggests cats only shed the virus for up to eight days, and even close proximity with other cats and humans during infection has not shown a high likelihood of cats being a conduit for cat-to-cat or cat-to-human transmission.  But, still, fear is a very powerful thing, and panic rests hidden just beside it.

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