No need to kill pigeons vs h5n1

Letter I sent Sunday Morning Post, appeared today (edited a little there):

I refer to the letter from O.H. Mark (4 January), saying we need a strategy to cull pigeons.

Sadly, it appears O.H. Mark is among those who have been hoodwinked by people claiming we are threatened by flu carried by wild birds including pigeons. Such claims have more to do with finding scapegoats for the shortcomings of the poultry industry, coupled with ignorance of evolution, than of reality.

While birds - especially waterfowl - indeed carry a variety of bird flus, they are not major vectors of the nasty variants of H5N1 that have evolved in the poultry industry. This is because the nasty variants are lethal to most birds; and as dead ducks - and dead pigeons - don't fly, the variants quickly die out in the wild.

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