Joan Collins THE Balearic Government yesterday appealed to citizens and the media to take a “responsible attitude” to bird flu. It said that an “excessive and unfounded level of alarm” has been generated which is damaging the poultry industry, which has seen a drop of between 10 and 15 percent in sales according to the director general of the Department of Agriculture, Joan Carles Torrens. He was speaking after a meeting of the technical commission for bird flu, in which it was agreed to keep the measures which are already in place to combat this disease as they did not consider there were any grounds for increasing them. Torrens said he was sorry to see the unjust alarm that had been caused in the islands by the bird flu, as this had produced a flood of calls to the emergency services about the discovery of dead birds and, in some cases, the killing or releasing onto the streets of animals suspected of having the virus. This attitude, he added, has not only caused financial loss, because of the drop in sales of chicken and eggs, but also an overload on the emergency services. They are being called for the slightest indication of disease in a bird or for the discovery of a dead bird. The director general of Public Health, Antoni Pellicer, reminded everyone that no cases of bird flu had been diagnosed, either in the Balearics or in the rest of Spain and that the majority of blood samples (a total of 286) taken from birds had proved negative. There are 12 samples still being analysed which he was sure would have the same result. “Birds die because it is their cycle of life” he said to calm people who are alarmed when they see a dead bird. “The situation is under control” and if a case of bird flu is diagnosed the Balearic Government will take the appropriate measures which are these: one area of maximum security will be established within a radius of three kilometres of the case, and another for vigilance within 10 kilometres.