China to Vaccinate 14 Billion Birds

With new concerns about the bird flu, China has announced that it will vaccinate 14 billion birds in its country in hopes to keep the flu from devastating its poultry industry. This will not be a cheap move for the Chinese but having already destroyed nearly 300,000 birds because of the flu they do not want to take any more risks. Currently they are undersupplied to accomplish this task but their suppliers are gearing up to finish the job. Reading this article makes me wonder what we as a nation are doing to protect ourselves from this flu. Are we doing anything to protect our poultry? Personally I eat a lot of chicken and turkey and if all of a sudden we had to destroy large amounts of them drastically raising prices, I’m not sure what I’d eat. Although, there are a lot of other things that taste like chicken so maybe I wouldn’t be as bad off as I was thinking.


maddy said...

Holy crap! That is a lot of birds. I personally think that this whole bird flu is being taken out of hand. It's just another way to keep populations scared and willing to spend money for solutions that aren't needed. Does anybody remember Y2K?

Dr. Tufte said...

Maddy's bringing up of Y2K is a good point.

Economic theory tells us that if we have a predictable problem, then the optimal response is to eliminate the problem. This is why Y2K turned out to be a bust - the necessary things got done.

It isn't clear that the same thing will happen with the bird flu because the problem is less well defined.