A top virologist has declared that we’ve all got it wrong – raptors are not being systematically slaughtered across Scotland and northern England – they are falling victim to a mystery virus.
Professor McPasteur, a distant relative of Louis Pasteur, has been studying the new virus in his top secret laboratory in Ross-shire. He said:
“This is a real breakthrough in the world of virus discovery. We’ve uncovered what we believe to be the cause of extensive raptor deaths that have previously been blamed on the activities of gamekeepers. We don’t yet know a lot about this virus but we do know it is transmitted on the breath of grouse moor gamekeepers and is highly contagious. Some gamekeepers have developed a high level of immunity and appear not to be infected; however we have yet to develop an effective vaccine and at the moment the only known control is to isolate the host carriers from the rest of the community“.
He goes on: “This virus is very clever. It can mimic the presence of several banned poisons, but particularly Carbofuran, leading crime investigators to mistakenly attribute a bird’s death to illegal poisoning. It can also fell nest trees, set illegal traps and cause shotguns to self-trigger. It really is remarkable“.
The results of Prof McPasteur’s experiments are expected to be published in the Ross-shire Science Journal in the coming days.