Monday, May 25, 2015

A Dangerous Invasion on Top

Again, we were relieved that Pipke was safe. But alas also this time - that relieve didn't last long.
As if it hadn't been enough, a new problem suddenly appeared on the horizon.
This time, the danger came from the outside world.

The invisible enemy “Bird Flu” had invaded our country!

First there was only a mild action from the government. To prevent that our birds had contact with wild birds we had to cover their pens with nets. Because of the uninvited visit of the cat we didn't have to do that anymore, we'd already done that.
Unfortunately - this action couldn't stop the virus, it spread more and more. 
Not long thereafter the government had to take drastic measures. 
On the news broadcasting on TV we could see that many poultry farmers had to slaughter their whole life stock as precautionary measure to prevent the flu would spread widely.
Now - we already got to the point that in our nearby villages, ordinary people - hobbyists - who kept poultry in their garden, had to fill in a document. They even had to declare how many birds they kept, so the government could control how many birds there were in case they had to slaughter again.
Eventually – after some time – we received such a letter too, but we never filled it in - because we were afraid for what would happen to Pipke.

Then - only a few weeks later they even started to kill animals which were kept as pets!
This shows the way it went! 
I warn you, not such pleasant scenes to watch!
(The Dutch text on this film says: The culling. You have build something during 10 years. Within 10 minutes it's destroyed. At 5: 24 minutes you see the sad result. Thereafter, the disinfection follows. Was this really necessary? According the Dutch government this was strictly necessary to prevent further expansion of the classic bird flu.)

- It was actually all so “senseless"! These birds were no threat at all – they didn't get in contact with wild birds. “Wild birds” were the evildoers, but – of course it's not possible to kill “all” wild birds!
In fact, the poultry farmers caused the biggest problem. They keep too many birds concentrated at one place, so the virus could develop and spread there more easily.
Those places actually were a real feast for the virus. (By matter of speech, for them it was: a warm buffet 'all – you - can - eat'!)

Not long thereafter, we saw the most gruesome images on TV. They showed a man - also a hobbyist who kept Peacocks - defending his animals to prevent them from being slaughtered.
He even crawled on top of the roof of his house with his Peacocks. He was really desperate. Some of the animals were shot down, but others could escape.
Many people protested against this cruelty. It had a great impact on people who had seen it on TV all over the country, and especially - on those who lived in this man's neighborhood. They even protested fiercely on TV.
However, this story had “one” happy outcome!
After several weeks the Bird Flu had weakened and there was no longer danger – when suddenly the escaped Peacocks returned to their pen by themselves.
All those weeks they had hidden in the bushes. It seemed almost as if they knew that it was safe now. This event was even broadcasted on TV, but - it was a happy reunion with a bitter aftertaste.
Defenseless animals had been killed, although it could have been avoided.
They were the victims of the system, a system that takes unnecessary measures.
There had even arisen dissension among the veterinarians on this approach to solve the problem.
Some had *real doubts if this was the right way to deal with this problem.
I think - to hear *this fact – after your own pets had been slaughtered - it must have been very hard - even unbearable!
Eventually the outbreak of the avian flu virus of 2003 became a disaster year, not only for poultry but also for many unlucky pet birds in the Netherlands and also Belgium.
I didn't want to think about the fact that this could have happened to Pipke!
Luckily …

- This was it for now!
Unfortunately not such a pretty story.
Next time I will continue with something joyful.
Then I will describe: 'Normal Days in Pipke's Life'.
Believe me, it was never boring.
Thanks for reading and till soon! 
Bye, bye!

PS: today it would have been her twentieth birthday!
It would have been a miracle if she had reached this age.
Time flies.