Flying below the media radar (at least in the United States) is an apparent link between a Smithfield Farms hog confinement facility in Veracruz, Mexico and the swine flu outbreak. Although it has received little attention here, the issue has gotten significant coverage in Mexico.
Initial reports linked the disease’s vector to flies that reproduce in contaminated pig waste although that theory apparently does not withstand close scrutiny. Others link it to a vicious cycle of wild ducks drinking contaminated water from sewage lagoons, landing and excreting in “farmed” fish ponds, whose water then gets drunk by confined chickens,whose feces gets mixed into the feed to confined pigs, who then excrete the contaminants back into the sewage lagoons,which then gets drunk by the ducks, ad infinitum.
Even if it turns out that Smithfield’s facility did not spawn the virus, however, that conclusion would change little. Adding massive confinement facilities with poor sanitation to an impoverished rural community with poor infrastructure is a recipe for disaster. If not now then soon.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: animal ethics, animal suffering, animal welfare, battery cages, CAFOS, Daily Kos, factory farms, farmed animals, flu, flu outbreak, industrial farming, Smithfield, swine flu |