Monday, 4 May 2009

Swine Flu – is this the reason why?

In the US state of Iowa there are almost nine times as many pigs/hogs as people and in 2005 (yup... 2005) the University of Iowa, (Centre for Emerging Diseases)warned that these intensive animal farms were a tremendous potential reservoir for the flu virus.

The source of the virus is yet to be fully confirmed but the facts are that near La Gloria, a village East of Mexico City, there are pig/hog farms that intensively produce almost a million animals a year. In La Gloria almost 60% of the inhabitants have been affected by flu symptoms and some have died.

Dr. Gregory Grey at the University of Iowa was involved in a major study that concluded that “virus-laden secretions from pigs may be more concentrated, and reductions in ventilation and sunshine exposure may prolong viral viability. Thus, a confinement operation worker’s probability of acquiring the Influenza virus infection may be increased compared with that of a traditional swine worker.”
The study warned that swine workers could “initiate epidemics” by mixing the viral strains which would then trigger a pandemic. “They may serve as a conduit for a novel virus to move from swine to man or from man to swine,” the study said.

The Mexican factories are alleged to have very low standards of hygiene and were owned and run by an American company Smithfield, who were at the heart of one of my previous postings.

There is a video on that post of Smithfields accepted practices. Please view it, look at the animals conditions, see just what those involved had to say about the effect the factories operations had on their health and draw your own conclusions.


Andrew Clarke said...

I think you're right here. The whole idea of 'battery' production of animals is cruel, and like so many evil practices it will rebound on the human race. The sadness of it is that the humble farm workers will get hit first, not the plutocrats who finance it all. Incidentally, I would be glad if you can tell me: what is your view of desalinating sea-water? It is being undertaken in Australia, and it strikes me as a good way to go because it could have the effect of increasing plant biomass and offsetting global warming. But I could be overlooking things.

equa yona(Big Bear) said...

CAFOs are the bane of existence for many communities in the US and around the world. Until we get people in charge who value quality of life for all over profits for the greedy, it will be this way. Maybe if the Swine Flu had decimated a village or two in the US legislation might be enacted. But I wouldn't hold my breath(unless I lived near a factory farm).