June 17, 2013
Factory Farming and Flu
Public health authorities say a pandemic of influenza, triggered by bird or swine flu, is inevitable, impacting millions around the globe. The influenza virus has existed for millions of years as a harmless intestinal virus of wild ducks. What turned it into a killer?
In the last few decades, an unprecedented number of killer diseases have spread from the animal kingdom: AIDS from the African bush meat trade; SARS from live animal markets; and monkeypox from the exotic pet trade.
Today, we raise billions of animals for food in stressful, overcrowded, unhygienic conditions that can be breeding grounds for disease. Factory farming practices have been linked to mad cow disease, multidrug-resistant bacterial infections, Nipah virus, and most dangerously, bird flu and swine flu. Factory farms are a public health menace. You can help by supporting stricter regulations and oversight of them.