There are victims that they have likely not taken into consideration. Whenever bird flu raises its ugly head in China, thousands of birds lose their lives. Everyone knows this. What many do not realize that as a result something has been made into an endangered species. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the humble shuttlecock.

Now, how could bird flu affect the shuttlecock industry? Quite simply, a shortage of feathers. When a bird is killed to prevent the spread of bird flu, no part of the bird is permitted to be used. Each time bird flu comes around they kill off thousands of birds. That's a lot of feathers. On top of that, there is the concern that other countries may ban the export of the shuttlecock as a preventative health measure.

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You may be wondering why not just use the synthetic version of the shuttlecock. You may have seen packages of them at your local Wal-Mart. It's a fair point, but no true shuttlecock enthusiast would use a synthetic shuttlecock for their sport if a feathered version is available.

So, when you hear people decry bird flu as been an overly hyped up bit of nonsense, remind them about the poor shuttlecock. See if they can maintain their doubts then.

Inspired by the news story at The Guardian.