09 March 2006

Bird flu allegations at Disneyland Paris

This swan was photographed in Switzerland. She had "no comment" about, and claimed complete neutrality on, reports that a dead swan was allegedly found at Disneyland Paris. Bird flu rumours were widely reported, but remain unproven. Park officials blame workers' unions for the allegations. See an excerpt of Adam Sage's report posted below.
"DISNEYLAND PARIS was accused yesterday of hiding a dead swan as panic over bird flu spread across Europe. The allegations, angrily denied by the resort, were made by trade unions who said managers had hushed up the discovery to avoid scaring off visitors. The row came amid what experts are describing as an avian flu psychosis after the arrival of the H5N1 virus.

In France, police officers have been sent to shoot wild ducks, the fire service has been inundated with requests to pick up dead pigeons, and cockerels banned from fighting are allegedly expiring from apoplexy. The scare reached Disneyland when two unions, the French Democratic Workers Confederation and Workers’ Force, said staff has seen a dead swan in the adventure park.

Although there was no suggestion the swan had fallen victim to bird flu — or even proof that it had actually existed — the report featured prominently on the radio news." (London Times)
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