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Turkey's flawed family violence protection system leaves women and girls across the country unprotected against domestic abuse, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Life-saving protections, including court-issued protection orders and emergency shelters, are not available for many abuse victims because of gaps in the law and enforcement failures.
The 58-page report, "'He Loves You, He Beats You': Family Violence in Turkey and Access to Protection," documents brutal and long-lasting violence against women and girls by husbands, partners, and family members and the survivors' struggle to seek protection. Turkey has strong protection laws, setting out requirements for shelters for abused women and protection orders. However, gaps in the law and implementation failures by police, prosecutors, judges, and other officials make the protection system unpredictable at best, and at times downright dangerous.
"With strong laws in place, it is inexcusable that Turkish authorities are depriving family violence victims of basic protections," said Gauri van Gulik, women's rights advocate and researcher at Human Rights Watch and author of the report. "Turkey has gone through exemplary reform on women's human rights, but police, prosecutors, judges, and social workers need to make the system exemplary in practice, not just on paper."
Human Rights Watch interviewed women and girls as young as 14 and as old as 65 who described being raped; stabbed; kicked in the abdomen when pregnant; beaten with hammers, sticks, branches, and hoses to the point of broken bones and fractured skulls; locked up with dogs or other animals; starved; shot with a stun gun; injected with poison; pushed off a roof; and subjected to severe psychological violence. The violence occurred in all areas where researchers conducted interviews, and across income and education levels.
This report comes as the Council of Europe is about to adopt a regional convention on violence against women and domestic violence. Turkey played an important role in drafting the convention as the current Chair of the Committee of Ministers, and the convention is scheduled to be signed at a summit in Istanbul on May 11, 2011.
Some 42 percent of women over age 15 in Turkey and 47 percent of rural women have experienced physical or sexual violence at the hands of a husband or partner at some point in their lives, according to a 2009 survey conducted by a leading Turkish university.
The report is based on interviews with, and the case files of, 40 women in Van, Istanbul, Trabzon, Ankara, Izmir, and Diyarbakir, and dozens of interviews with lawyers, women's organizations, social workers, government officials, and other experts.
"That first time, he hit me,he kicked the baby in my belly, and he threw me off the roof.,"said Selvi T., not her real name, forced to marry at age 12, whose husband has abused her for years.
Turkey entered the vanguard of countries offering civil mechanisms to protect against domestic violence with its 1998 adoption of Law 4320 on the Protection of the Family. This law, as amended in 2007, established a protection order system under which a person abused by a family member under the same roof, male or female, can apply directly or through a prosecutor for an order from a family court.
The orders can, among other things, require the offender to vacate the home, stay away from the victim and their children, surrender weapons, and refrain from violence, threats, damaging property, or contacting the victim. The system is designed to bring about quick action, within days at most, since people who apply for them are often in extremely dangerous situations.
The report documents serious shortcomings with Law 4320, though. The law excludes certain groups of women altogether, such as divorced and unmarried women. Police, prosecutors, and judges in many cases neglect their duties. Many women said that police officers mocked them and sent them home to their abusers, rather than helping them get protection orders, and that prosecutors and judges were slow to act on protection order requests or improperly demanded evidence not required by the law.
"The extreme brutality that family members inflict on women and girls is bad enough, but it is even worse to know that a woman who finds the courage to escape and ask for protection might be insulted and sent right back to her abuser," van Gulik said.
Shelters for women and children are another important element of Turkey's response to domestic abuse. The Law on Municipalities requires every municipality with 50,000 or more residents to provide a shelter, but the government has fallen far short of meeting this requirement. Moreover, women reported to Human Rights Watch that some existing shelters have dismal conditions and inadequate security procedures. In fact, staff in some shelters have allowed abusers to enter and have urged women to reconcile with their batterers.
Selvi T.'s experience reflects many of these problems.Her husband has beaten and raped her repeatedly for years, inflicting grave injuries, yet police sent her home multiple times when she sought protection. When she finally fled to a shelter, police told her husband the location, and shelter staff let him in and encouraged her to reconcile with him.
On March 7, Fatma Sahin, a Justice and Development Party member of parliament for Gaziantep, in southeastern Turkey, announced a proposal to revise the Law on the Protection of the Family, following consultations with women's groups. The proposed amendments are before parliament.
The amendments would widen the scope of protection to include women who are in a relationship but not married. They would direct the Interior Ministry to provide financial support to protection order recipients. The draft law would require improved measures to protect information about victims, including their addresses if they have moved. It provides for dedicated police and prosecutor units staffed by officers with training and expertise in family violence.It also would allow prosecutors to grant protection orders outside court hours, to be presented later for a judge's approval.
Turkey should close the gaps in its family protection law by explicitly providing that protection orders may be issued to unmarried and divorced women, including women in unregistered religious marriages, Human Rights Watch said.
The Justice and Interior Ministries should create dedicated units at police stations and family courts with specialized staff who can refer women to social services and deal with their protection claims, Human Rights Watch said. The Interior Ministry should also develop a complaint mechanism to identify police officers, prosecutors, and judges who do not uphold the law or who mistreat domestic violence survivors.
Overall monitoring of the protection order system is also needed, with more specific, publicly available data on the use of the system.More shelters are needed, and both the Interior and Justice Ministries should continue and improve training for police officers, and to trainprosecutors and judges aboutthe practical requirements of Law 4320, and each official's role in the process.
"At a time when Turkey is about to host governments from all over Europe to make a binding commitment to end violence against women, Turkey's government should take an honest look at its own shortcomings," van Gulik said. "Turkey needs to make changes so that its family violence protection system will live up to the new treaty both in design and implementation."
Accounts From Victims:
In southeast Turkey (exact location withheld), Selvi T., a 22-year-old pregnant with her fifth child, represents everything that can go wrong when domestic violence is not taken seriously. She was married at age 12, and her husbandstarted his attacks when she was pregnant with their first child.
"That first time, he hit me,he kicked the baby in my belly, and he threw me off the roof," she told Human Rights Watch. Since then, the violence has increased in frequency and severity, and now even includes their children. Selvi's husband controls every aspect of her life and is extremely jealous. She told us: "He rapes me all the time, and he checks my fluids 'down there' to check I didn't have sex [with another man]." Selvi managed to escape four times to go to the police for help, but was sent back to abuse every time. She made it to a shelter once, but the police told her husband where the shelter was and he forced her to leave.Selvi receives assistance from a local women's group, but has given up on escaping the violence.
"I just cannot go to the police anymore," she said.
In Istanbul, Zelal K. was denied a protection order because she was divorced. Zelal lives in Istanbul with her three children, and divorced eight years ago. Her former husband lives across the street, and one day in January 2008, he grabbed her when she walked out of her house. She told Human Rights Watch:
He held me, I screamed, "Let me go," and he started beating me. There were a lot of people around us, but nobody did anything. He pulled my hair and covered my mouth, and he dragged me to my house. There he kicked me and I fell to the ground [...]. He broke every possession I have in the house, every chair, every picture, everything. Then he took off my clothes and he raped me.
Zelal managed to escape, almost naked, and went to several police stations, where she was turned away for different reasons ranging from "wrong police office" to "Why are you bothering us with this?"She eventually managed to speak with a prosecutor. He refused to accept her application for a protection order because she was divorced.
Asli I. is a 21-year-old Kurdish woman from a village close to Van. Asli confronted violence from the moment she married and moved in with her in-laws in 2009. All 10 people in the household abused her in some way. When she had severe stomach pains, the family kept her captive and her father-in-law injected something into her arm that severely damaged her health. The family also forced her to carry stones and wood all day for a house they were building. Asli's father-in-law hit her "all the time" with a water pipe, a hose, and a hammer.He broke Asli's nose and arm, and barred her from going to a nearby hospital. He regularly locked her up in the animal house and finally told her, "I didn't just get you here for my son, but also for my pleasure." He then raped her.
She cannot read or write and speaks little Turkish, but she got help from a women's group once she was finally out of the house. The police told the father-in-law to stay away from her, but did not arrest him. They advised Asli to seek a protection order from the prosecutor, which she did in May 2010. However, as Asli told us: "I went to the prosecutor, but never heard back from them, and he [the father-in-law] keeps coming to our house. Will he kill me or one of my brothers before I can get help?"
In Izmir, Zeynep B. had a protection order against her husband, who regularly beat and psychologically abused her. At the end of 2009, while the order was in force, her husband barged into her house, cut off her electricity, and threatened her with a knife. She fled and he chased her, but she managed to get to the police. They told her, "Go home, we will deal with it." On her way home she was stabbed six times by her husband. She barely survived.
Human Rights Watch is one of the world's leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights. By focusing international attention where human rights are violated, we give voice to the oppressed and hold oppressors accountable for their crimes. Our rigorous, objective investigations and strategic, targeted advocacy build intense pressure for action and raise the cost of human rights abuse. For 30 years, Human Rights Watch has worked tenaciously to lay the legal and moral groundwork for deep-rooted change and has fought to bring greater justice and security to people around the world.
"We are basically making demands that we have a livable wage, that we are able to live our lives outdoors, like REI's mission statement includes," said one sales associate at the Beachwood store.
After REI employees in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio walked off the job Friday morning, the recreational equipment retailer agreed to schedule a union election vote next month and stopped pushing to exclude certain workers.
Following successful union drives at two other REI stores, employees in Beachwood last month filed for a union election with National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) seeking representation with the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU).
John Ginter, a sales associate at the Beachwood REI, told Cleveland-based Ideastream Public Media that he and his co-workers are seeking better working conditions.
"We are basically making demands that we have a livable wage, that we are able to live our lives outdoors, like REI's mission statement includes," he said. "So having a better work-life balance, being able to care for ourselves and to increase benefits for employees across the spectrum, whether or not they are part-time, full-time, whatever that situation would be."
According to the report: "Ginter alleged REI has some 'pretty rigid stipulations' with regard to which employees are eligible for benefits and accrual of sick time. He also said he believes his REI location is 'not living up to our diversity, equity, and inclusion statement.'"
Beachwood workers launched their brief unfair labor practice (ULP) strike Friday as an NLRB hearing got underway at the federal agency's Cleveland office.
\u201c\ud83d\udea8\ud83d\udea8\ud83d\udea8Alert: our store is closed due to our ULP strike. Stand in solidarity with us @rei co-op members and ask the company to #letREIvote https://t.co/HytMzwzBAI\u201d— REI Union Cleveland (@REI Union Cleveland) 1675439795
In a ULP charge that RWDSU filed Thursday with the NLRB, the union claimed REI "engaged in the unlawful surveillance of workers and/or created an impression of surveillance of the workers at the Beachwood store."
RWDSU has also accused REI of putting forth "meritless assertions to delay the election" by claiming that sales leads, bike shop workers, and "casual" employees—or those who work part-time with irregular schedules—should not vote.
"RWDSU vehemently disagrees with REI's objections," the union said in a statement. "It is especially galling because, as the company unnecessarily fights RWDSU in Ohio, it is currently bargaining contracts with workers holding these same classifications at the SoHo, New York and Berkeley, California stores. REI's hypocrisy is union-busting plain and simple and is a meek attempt to exclude more than half of the proposed bargaining unit to be eligible to vote."
\u201cIn a petty move by local management we're locked out for the day. The main office says we can come back tomorrow, but enjoy this video of the type of attitude we have to put up with every day from local management ...\u201d— REI Union Cleveland (@REI Union Cleveland) 1675457892
REI pushed back against RWDSU's characterization of its intentions in a Thursday statement to Axios, saying that the NLRB hearing was "to ensure that all employees who hold the right to vote are included in the voting process."
The agreement reached Friday includes all eligible workers at the location, "a reversal from REI's position last week," according to RWDSU. "The union election will take place on March 3, 2023 from 12:00 pm-6:00 pm ET at the Ohio store."
New York Times labor reporter Noam Scheiber tweeted Friday evening: "One thing I've learned covering labor over the past several years: Your labor rights are typically as robust as the power you and your co-workers can muster at the workplace. This case was a perfect example."
More Perfect Union similarly said, "Strikes work."
\u201cCleveland REI workers went on strike this morning, and just hours later the company agreed to all of their demands. Strikes work.\u201d— More Perfect Union (@More Perfect Union) 1675450448
\u201c\ud83d\udea8\u2757\ufe0fHey @REI: You might want to update your website. \n\nThere is NOTHING respectable about a workplace environment where employees are harassed, intimidated & prevented from exercising their LEGAL RIGHT to vote in a fair union election. \n\nSolidarity with @reiunioncle! #letREIvote\u201d— AFL-CIO (@AFL-CIO) 1675441800
If the Ohio employees vote to form REI's third union nationwide, RWDSU would represent approximately 55 workers there—though RWDSU noted that "the store currently operates at a 60% staffing level of its full capacity, potentially increasing that number to over 70."
As the Beachwood workers prepare for next month's election, contract negotiations are underway in Berkeley, and 10 fired employees—including two bargaining team members—are accusing REI of retaliation, which the company denies.
Meanwhile, in Washington state on Tuesday, REI laid off 167 people, or 8% of headquarters workers. President and CEO Eric Artz said that "in the face of increasing uncertainty, we need to sharpen our focus on the most critical investments and areas of work to best serve our members and grow the co-op over the long term."
One expert called the move a "very welcome step away from what has been decades of demonization."
After decades of criminalization, Australia's government said Friday that it will legalize the prescription of MDMA and psilocybin for the treatment of two medical conditions, a historic move hailed by researchers who have studied the therapeutic possibilities of the drugs.
Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) said in a statement that starting July 1, psychiatrists may prescribe MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine), commonly called "Molly" or "ecstasy" by recreational users, to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and psilocybin—the psychedelic prodrug compound in "magic" mushrooms—for treatment-resistant depression.
"These are the only conditions where there is currently sufficient evidence for potential benefits in certain patients," TGA said, adding that the drugs must be taken "in a controlled medical setting."
Advocates of MDMA and psilocybin are hopeful that one day doctors could prescribe them to treat a range of conditions, from alcoholism and eating disorders to obsessive-compulsive disorder.
David Caldicott, a clinical senior lecturer in emergency medicine at Australian National University, toldThe Guardian that Friday's surprise announcement is a "very welcome step away from what has been decades of demonization."
Caldicott said it is now "abundantly clear” that both MDMA and psilocybin "can have dramatic effects" on hard-to-treat mental health problems, and that "in addition to a clear and evolving therapeutic benefit, [legalization] also offers the chance to catch up on the decades of lost opportunity [of] delving into the inner workings of the human mind, abandoned for so long as part of an ill-conceived, ideological 'war on drugs.'"
\u201cFrom 1 July this year, medicines containing the psychedelic substances psilocybin and MDMA can be prescribed by specifically authorised psychiatrists for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder and treatment-resistant depression.\n\nRead more: https://t.co/rJI9dRs3M7\u201d— TGA Australia (@TGA Australia) 1675387806
MDMA—which has been criminalized in Australia since 1987—was first patented by German drugmaker Merck in the early 1910s. After World War II the United States military explored possibilities for weaponizing MDMA as a truth serum as part of the MK-ULTRA mind control experiments aimed at creating real-life Manchurian candidates. A crossover from clinical usage in marriage and other therapies in the 1970s and '80s to recreational consumption—especially in the disco and burgeoning rave scenes—in the latter decade sparked a conservative backlash in the form of emergency bans in countries including Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration classifies MDMA and psilocybin as Schedule I substances, meaning they have "no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse."
Patients who've tried MDMA therapy and those who treat them say otherwise. A study published last year by John Hopkins Health found that in a carefully controlled setting, psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy held promise for "significant and durable improvements in depression."
The California-based Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)—the world's premier organization for psychedelic advocacy and research—interviewed Colorado massage therapist Rachael Kaplan about her MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD:
For the majority of my life I prayed to die and fought suicidal urges as I struggled with complex PTSD. This PTSD was born out of chronic severe childhood abuse. Since then, my life has been a journey of searching for healing. I started going to therapy 21 years ago, and since then I have tried every healing modality that I could think of, such as bodywork, energy work, medications, residential treatment, and more. Many of these modalities were beneficial but none of them significantly reduced my trauma symptoms. I was still terrified most of the time...
In my first MDMA-assisted psychotherapy session I was surprised that the MDMA helped me see the world as it was, instead of seeing it through my lens of terror. I thought that the MDMA would alter my perception of reality, but instead, it helped me see... more clearly... The MDMA session was the first time that I was able to stay present, explore, and process what had happened to me. This changed everything... There are no words for the gratitude that I feel.
Jon Lubecky, an American Iraq War combat veteran who tried to kill himself five times, toldNBC's "Today" in 2021 that MDMA therapy—also with MAPS—enabled him "to talk about things I had never brought up before to anyone."
"And it was OK. My body did not betray me. I didn't get panic attacks. I didn't shut down emotionally or just become so overemotional I couldn't deal with anything," he recounted.
"This treatment is the reason my son has a father instead of a folded flag," Lubecky said in a message to other veterans afflicted with PTSD. "I want all of you to be around in 2023 when this is [U.S. Food and Drug Administration]-approved. I know what your suffering is like. You can make it."
MAPS' latest clinical research on MDMA—which is aimed at winning FDA approval—is currently in phase three trials. The Biden administration said last year that it "anticipates" MDMA and psilocybin would be approved by the FDA by 2024 and is "exploring the prospect of establishing a federal task force to monitor" therapeutic possibilities of both drugs.
\u201cFounder and Executive Director of @MAPSnews, @RickDoblin Ph.D., discusses a new #psychedelic study that supports MDMA-assisted therapy as a treatment for post traumatic stress disorder (#PTSD) on @FoxBusiness. \n\nhttps://t.co/im1QEz3vdR\u201d— Psychedelic Science (@Psychedelic Science) 1675357038
Like MDMA, psilocybin—which occurs naturally in hundreds of fungal species and has been used by humans for medicinal, spiritual, and recreational purposes for millennia—remains illegal at the federal level in the U.S., although several states and municipalities have legalized or decriminalized psychedelic mushrooms, or have moved to do so.
There have also been bipartisan congressional efforts to allow patients access to both drugs. Legislation introduced last year by U.S. Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) would permit therapeutic use of certain Schedule I drugs for terminally ill patients. Meanwhile, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) passed amendments to the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act providing more funding for psychedelic research and making it easier for veterans and active-duty troops suffering from PTSD to try drug-based treatments.
"This is an infection that has epidemic and pandemic potential," said one doctor. "I don't know if people recognize how big a deal this is."
As a deadly strain of avian influenza continues to decimate bird populations around the world and spread among other animals, some scientists are warning that mammal-to-mammal transmission has emerged as a real possibility with potentially catastrophic consequences for humans.
Over the past year, officials in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada have detected cases of the highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu in a variety of species, including bears, foxes, otters, raccoons, and skunks. Last month, a cat suffered serious neurological symptoms from a late 2022 infection, according to French officials who said that the virus showed genetic characteristics consistent with adaptation to mammals.
Most of these infections are likely the result of mammals eating infected birds, according to Jürgen Richt, director of the Center on Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases at Kansas State University.
More alarming, multiple researchers argue, was the large outbreak of H5N1 on a Spanish mink farm last October, which could mark the first known instance of mammal-to-mammal transmission.
"Farmworkers began noticing a spike in deaths among the animals, with sick minks experiencing an array of dire symptoms like loss of appetite, excessive saliva, bloody snouts, tremors, and a lack of muscle control," CBC Newsreported Thursday. "Eventually, the entire population of minks was either killed or culled—more than 50,000 animals in total."
"A virus which has evolved on a mink farm and subsequently infects farmworkers exposed to infected animals is a highly plausible route for the emergence of a virus capable of human-to-human transmission to emerge."
A study published two weeks ago in Eurosurveillance, a peer-reviewed journal of epidemiological research, described the outbreak and its public health implications. Notably, the authors wrote that their findings "indicate that an onward transmission of the virus to other minks may have taken place in the affected farm."
As CBC Newsnoted, "That's a major shift, after only sporadic cases among humans and other mammals over the last decade."
Michelle Wille, a University of Sydney researcher who focuses on the dynamics of wild bird viruses, told the Canadian outlet that "this outbreak signals the very real potential for the emergence of mammal-to-mammal transmission."
It's just one farm and none of the workers—all of whom wore personal protective equipment—were infected. However, Dr. Isaac Bogoch, a Toronto-based infectious disease specialist, warned Thursday that if the virus mutates in a way that enables it to become increasingly transmissible between mammals, including humans, "it could have deadly consequences."
"This is an infection that has epidemic and pandemic potential," Bogoch told CBC News. "I don't know if people recognize how big a deal this is."
A "mass mortality event" involving roughly 2,500 endangered seals found off the coast of Russia's Caspian Sea last month has also raised alarm.
A researcher at Russia's Dagestan State University, Alimurad Gadzhiyev, said last week that early samples from the seals "tested positive for bird flu," adding that they were still studying whether the virus caused the die-off.
Peacock warned there have been mixed reports from Russia about the seals, which could have contracted the virus by eating infected seabirds.
But if the seals did give bird flu to each other it "would be yet another very concerning development," he added.
"The mink outbreaks, the increased number of infections of scavenger mammals, and the potential seal outbreak would all point to this virus having the potential to cause a pandemic" in humans, he said.
Among birds, the mortality rate of H5N1 can approach 100%, ravaging wild bird populations and poultry farms alike. The World Organization for Animal Health toldBBC News on Thursday that it has recorded almost 42 million cases of H5N1 in wild and domestic birds since the current outbreak started in October 2021. Another 193 million domestic birds have been culled in an attempt to curb transmission.
The highly pathogenic strain of avian flu also frequently causes death in other mammals, including humans. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 870 cases of H5N1 were reported in humans from 2003 to 2022 and they resulted in at least 457 deaths—a fatality rate that exceeds 50%.
The virus has "not acquired the ability for sustained transmission among humans," the WHO stated last month. "Thus the likelihood of human-to-human spread is low."
However, a December report from the U.K. Health Security Agency warned that the "rapid and consistent acquisition of the mutation in mammals may imply this virus has a propensity to cause zoonotic infections," meaning that it could jump to humans.
Dr. Wenqing Zhang, head of the WHO's global influenza program, told BBC News on Thursday that the threat posed by the virus spilling over "is very concerning and the risk has been increasing over the years as reflected in the number of outbreaks in animals as well as a number of infections in humans."
"We're closely related to minks and ferrets, in terms of influenza risks... If it's propagating to minks, and killing minks, it's worrisome to us."
As CBC News reported this week: "Most human infections also appeared to involve people having direct contact with infected birds. Real-world mink-to-mink transmission now firmly suggests H5N1 is now 'poised to emerge in mammals,' Wille said—and while the outbreak in Spain may be the first reported instance of mammalian spread, it may not be the last."
Wille warned that "a virus which has evolved on a mink farm and subsequently infects farmworkers exposed to infected animals is a highly plausible route for the emergence of a virus capable of human-to-human transmission to emerge."
Louise Moncla, an assistant professor of pathobiology at the University of Pennsylvania, told the outlet that viruses often adapt to new host species through an "intermediary host."
"And so what's concerning about this is that this is exactly the kind of scenario you would expect to see that could lead to this type of adaptation, that could allow these viruses to replicate better in other mammals—like us," Moncla explained.
The alarm bells sounded this week echo long-standing warnings about the growing prospects of a devastating bird flu pandemic.
In his 2005 book, The Monster at Our Door, the late historian Mike Davis wrote that "the essence of the avian flu threat... is that a mutant influenza of nightmarish virulence—evolved and now entrenched in ecological niches recently created by global agro-capitalism—is searching for the new gene or two that will enable it to travel at pandemic velocity through a densely urbanized and mostly poor humanity."
Alluding to the "constantly evolving nature of influenza viruses," the WHO recently stressed "the importance of global surveillance to detect and monitor virological, epidemiological, and clinical changes associated with emerging or circulating influenza viruses that may affect human (or animal) health, and timely virus-sharing for risk assessment."
To avert a cataclysmic bird flu pandemic, scientists have also emphasized the need to ramp up H5N1 vaccine production, with Wille pointing out that "a very aggressive and successful poultry vaccination campaign ultimately stopped all human cases" of the H7N9 strain of the virus in the early 2010s.
Others have also criticized the global fur farming industry, citing the spread of bird flu as well the coronavirus among cruelly confined minks.
"We're closely related to minks and ferrets, in terms of influenza risks," Dr. Jan Hajek, an infectious diseases physician at Vancouver General Hospital, told CBC News. "If it's propagating to minks, and killing minks, it's worrisome to us."