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 factory farms.
January 13, 2011
HSI was disturbed by January 2011 reports of pigs being buried alive in a mass culling program to control the recent Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak in South Korea.
October 27, 2008
The high stocking density, stress, unhygienic conditions, and breeding practices typical of such industrial poultry production systems have been shown to facilitate the emergence and spread of diseases, including highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses with public health implications.