Hong Kong residents to be given guns to shoot birds suspected of carrying flu

A Hong Kong lawmaker on Friday proposed a way to stop the spread of bird flu: Give everyone a gun and let them shoot down migratory birds suspected of carrying the virus. Tommy Cheung, who has a reputation for making unusual proposals, made the suggestion in the legislature in a speech defending the city's live chicken industry.

"If there are no live chickens in Hong Kong, it will be hard for Hong Kong to retain its reputation as a food paradise," Cheung said.

He argued that migratory birds were the real culprits in spreading the illness, according to the AP.

"In other countries where you see avian flu outbreaks, most are not caused by chickens," Cheung said. "They're caused by migrating birds. Perhaps what we should do is give each person a gun and when we see a migrating bird, we can just shoot it down, so Hong Kong would be a much safer place."

Hong Kong reported the world's first outbreak of bird flu in humans in 1997 and the illness killed six people here. But the latest global outbreak has largely spared the city.