Saturday, May 02, 2009

Keep those germy humans away from my pigs

American farmers are concerned that their pigs might catch the swine flu from people! I understand that this actually could happen, but it's still funny to think about isn't it?

Plus some of the farmers seem a bit insular, if not clueless in their viewpoint:

"That is the biggest concern, that your herd could somehow contract this illness from an infected person," said Kansas hog farmer Ron Suther, who is banning visitors from his sow barns and requiring maintenance workers, delivery men and other strangers to report on recent travels and any illness before they step foot on his property.

Ummm, isn't the biggest concern that the death rates we seem to be seeing in Mexico will continue and spread to other parts of the world?

But apparently, Mr. Suther is not alone in his view:

Those sentiments were echoed by producers around the nation this week as fears of a possible global flu pandemic grew, with more than 200 people sickened, including more than 100 in the United States, and at least 177 dead, all but one in Mexico.

"There is no evidence of this new strain being in our pig populations in the United States. And our concern very much is we don't want a sick human to come into our barns and transmit this new virus to our pigs," said National Pork Producers chief veterinarian Jennifer Greiner.

Look, I like bacon as much (maybe more?) as the next guy but I think we still have more important things to worry about right now.

1 comment:

kebko said...

I don't understand your sentiment. I agree that you & I shouldn't worry about this, but you're talking about the National Pork Producers chief veterinarian. You're saying she shouldn't be doing her job? I don't understand your reaction at all.
Maybe you're not aware of the standards at typical factory farms. That many animals with finely calibrated DNA in one place is a bio-disaster waiting to happen, at least for the owners. I think you would find that even in normal circumstances, you would have a hard time getting into those facilities without showering on-site & putting on a sterilized overcoat. At least, that's what a friend of mine had to do every day when he worked at a hog facility.
But, I agree that this is the kind of story that makes newspapers barely worth the kindling value.