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Fish Farms, Long Distance Shipping of Poultry Feed, & Bird Flu


The many types of integration between fish and poultry farming clearly present opportunities for the dissemination of AI viruses through poultry faeces. There is, however, no firm information that AI has been disseminated in this way, but this possible means of transmission should be considered when interpreting outbreaks of AI in wild and domestic birds at water bodies.

The long distance transportation of poultry products for incorporation into fish feed, or already incorporated into exported fish feed, could provide opportunities for long distance spread of the virus. This assumes that the virus survives in such products but this has not, to my knowledge, been investigated.

Once AI virus gets into poultry, IFF/IAA could lead to local spread, both to other poultry and to wild birds. In this case we might expect an initial outbreak in an area, followed quickly by satellite outbreaks nearby. Although details are sketchy, this is what appears to have happened in southern Russia and now in Romania and Turkey. We cannot say that fish farming has been involved in these outbreaks, but investigations of the possibility would be welcome.