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Missouri Wildlife Experts Prepare for Bird Flu

October 25, 2005
By: Kathryn Buschman
State Capital Bureau

Preparing for the bird flu has become a national focus in the last month as more cases pop up throughout Europe.

Kathryn Buschman has more from the capitol on precautions residents can take against the virus.

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Bird flu hasn't been found in the U.S. yet, but wildlife experts say the flu will be out of control if wild birds contract it. Andrew Forbes, wildlife ecologist for The Missouri Department of Conservation says bird flu is more of a threat to domestic birds, like chickens, than wild birds.

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Contents: "When it does get here as far as wild birds like I said there isn't really anything we can do it's just going to get spread no matter what."


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Forbes says birdhandlers can take measures to avoid contract the virus.

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"Just you know clean your feeders regularly, use a diluted bleach solution and if it makes you feel more comfortable you can use rubber gloves and a mask."

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Bird flu cases found in humans have shown up in Indonesia, Thailand, and Russia.

From the state capitol I'm Kathryn Buschman

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Missouri leads the nation in the number of exotic animal auction houses.

State officials say the state isn't at a higher risk of bird flu exposure.

Kathryn Buschman has more from the Jefferson City.

Missouri is home to the largest exotic animal auction houses in the nation.

Despite large numbers, State Vet. Shane Brookshire says the state attempts to control the quality of animals sold.

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"With the health requirements from most of these exotics that go into the sale but in the regulation from the sale itself we have a pretty good handle on what's coming and going out of that sale."

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State law requires a licensed vet to inspect any exotic animal brought to Missouri.

Exotic animals labeled by the state as posing a significant threat to animal health can't be sold.

From the state capitol, I'm Kathryn Buschman