The current swine flu has now taken a toll on at least 44,300 people worldwide in 92 countries, with more than 180 fatalities. Australia has reported her first swine flu-related loss, while Fiji and Algeria confirmed first-ever cases.
A 2006 US study found that pig farm workers are at markedly high risk of swine flu virus infection and advised that these personnel should be included in pandemic surveillance as well as government antiviral strategies. All pandemic flu strains originate from non-human animal species, with pigs being one of the most prevalent carriers because they can be infected with both human and bird flu strains, which could interact to form new and more lethal viruses.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that one-third to one-half of the pigs on modern farms had antibodies for influenza, evidence that they had historically or were presently infected.
On factory farms, the chance that one of these circulating swine flu viruses will infect humans increases proportionally with the pig population, which numbers at least 5,000 on a typical farm.
This means that viruses are likely to be continually transmitted and mutated into perhaps more deadly forms.
Fortunately, a growing number of lawmakers across the globe are monitoring this situation. Supreme Master Television recently spoke with New Zealand Green Party animal rights spokesperson Sue Kedgley about how she became aware of the plight of farmed animals.
Sue Kedgley – Member of Parliament, New Zealand, Green Party Animal Welfare Spokesperson (F): I actually wrote to the producer boards and asked if I could come and see inside these factory farms and to my surprise they agreed, and so off I went. I’ve always said that if consumers saw for themselves, at first hand, the conditions that these animals are forced to endure, we just wouldn’t be buying – those farms would shut down. VOICE: Thank you Parliament Member Kedgley for your insights and courageous honesty to expand the awareness of fellow lawmakers and the public.
The only reason that we continue to do so is that they are hidden away and most consumers really have no idea or put it out of their minds, because if you actually see for yourselves the sows in the cages, you cannot but conclude that the pigs are in total distress, in total misery.
They were chewing the bars in frustration, they were crying out, I mean they looked absolutely desperate. And actually I took my son who was quite young at the time, with me on my visit, and he just said, “How can humans be so cruel?” I’m sure that just about everyone would have that reaction if they actually went, but most people don’t actually get the opportunity to see inside a factory farm because the pig farms don’t want us to see the conditions that the animals are raised in.
As we sympathize with those fallen ill or suffering the loss of a loved one, we pray for the day when such cruel practices and their accompanying diseases subside.
As recommended by the US-based Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, let us all make the first true step to prevention and eat animal-free meals.