Hog CAFOs and the Swine Flu Outbreak — You Do the Math

hogssm21 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.

Hat tip to Daily Kos for breaking the story.  See also the OC Progressive.

David Cassuto

5 Responses

  1. […] the age of the Swine Flu epidemic. Swine Flu Update: Public Health Emergency Declared : Daily Kos Hog CAFOs and the Swine Flu Outbreak — You Do the Math – animalblawg.wordpress.com 04/27/2009 Flying below the media radar (at least in the United States) […]

  2. Imagine the backlash against vegetarians if tofu factories were found responsible – not just for this one, but for SARS, avian bird flu, heck even the 1918 pandemic …

  3. March 21,2009 a pile of over 200 bloated, putrid dead full grown hogs in Franklin County, Iowa was spotted by air lying in an obscure field away from public view. They were from hog confinements and had been there for over 6 weeks. Clearly, hog confinement is out of control. They can’t handle it. A stop moratorium holding further building needs to be an emergency measure instituted immediately. The health of us all is at stake. This is only one of many violations never discovered here in Iowa. We don’t need millions of dollars for odor control or city water. We need to clean up the filth. Stop hog confinements.

  4. Interesting stuff. Did you hear that there’s a new strain which is resistant to the anti-flu drugs? Tamiflu etc? Found a really good website for tracking it’s progress, seems to be updated every hour or so… http://www.swinefludeaths.co.uk.

  5. Thanks for the heads up.

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