Campaign Against Giant Factory Pig Farms

by Gopalan on  May 12, 2009 at 1:51 PM Respiratory Disease News   - G J E 4
Campaign Against Giant Factory Pig Farms
Environmental activists have stepped up their campaign against giant factory pig farms in the wake of the swine flu scare.

They contend that there is enough evidence now to show that "dangerous dirty and inhumane" pig farms could be the culprit.

No-one yet knows whether swine flu will become a global pandemic, but it is becoming clear where it came from  most likely a giant pig factory farm run by an American multinational corporation in Veracruz, Mexico, their online petition says.

"These factory farms are disgusting and dangerous, and they're rapidly multiplying. Thousands of pigs are brutally crammed into dirty warehouses and sprayed with a cocktail of drugs, posing a health risk to more than just our food, they and their manure lagoons create the perfect conditions to breed dangerous new viruses like swine flu.

"The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) must investigate and develop regulations for these farms to protect global health," they have demanded.

Studies abound of the horrific conditions endured by pigs in concentrated large-scale operations, and the devastating economic impact on small farmer communities of bloated large-scale operations.

Smithfield Corporation, the largest pig producer in the world whose farm is being pointed to as the source of the H1N1 outbreak, denies any connection between their pigs and the flu.

But the WHO has been saying for years that 'a new pandemic is inevitable' and experts from the European Commission and the FAO have cautioned that the rapid move from small holdings to industrial pig production is in fact increasing the risk of development and transmission of disease epidemics.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn that scientists still do not know the extent that infectious compounds produced in factory farms affect human health.

Smithfield itself has already been fined $12.6m and is currently under another federal investigation in the US for toxic environmental damage from pig excrement lakes.

Activists charge that big agrobusiness worldwide pays huge sums of money for research to argue that biosafety is ensured in industrial hog production.

The industry could also try to obstruct and scuttle any attempts at reform and hence the need for a massive outcry that health authorities can't ignore, activists stress.

If we resolve this global health crisis boldly by reassessing our food consumption and production, and urgently calling for an inquiry into the impact of factory farms on human health, we could put in place tough farm practice rules that will save the global population from future animal borne lethal pandemics, it has been stated.

If we reach 200,000 signatures we will deliver it to the WHO in Geneva with a herd of cardboard pigs. For every 1000 petition signatures we will add a pig to the herd,  Avaaz the website behind the campaign, says.

The petition addressed to Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO and Dr JacquesDiouf, Director-General of the FAO reads: We call on you to investigate and develop regulations for factory farming in accordance with public health safety standards. Food production must be regulated to ensure global health security.

Those interested may visit (, and sign the petition.

Source: Medindia

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