Saturday, 9 October 2010

MRSA in British livestock - letter demanding action

Some of the signatories on the letter seem to have been edited out in some of the published reports.

It’s not clear why.

Since the publication of this letter, the National Pig Association have renewed their claims that British pigs are clear of MRSA, pointing out that the Netherlands and others do have MRSA in the pig herds.

This is Tracy Worcester’s list of signatories.

The writer believes that the pigs should be tested in a comprehensive programme on the actual farms, whatever is done elsewhere. The current disease free status is claimed on the basis of a few samples taken on EU instructions from pig sheds a couple of years ago.

That is insufficient, inappropriate and dangerous. It also leaves scope for result faking by Britain’s corrupt government veterinarians. 

We do know that MRSA st398 is present in Britain, but not necessarily in pigs or poultry.

The writer knows, from personal experience, that the faking of tests on pigs during epidemics is authorised and condoned at the most senior levels of Defra – the British agricultural ministry.

Tracy's Blog here 

The Pig Business Blog

The MRSA threat of Industrial Meat Farming

Posted on October 5, 2010

Pig Business coordinated an open letter regarding the MRSA threat of industrial meat farming. It was exclusively featured in the Daily Telegraph on Saturday 2nd of October, which is both World MRSA Day and World Farm Animals Day. The full text, and co- signatories are below. We will keep everyone posted on further actions.

World MRSA Day on 2 October is a time for remembering the hundreds of thousands of people in the UK who have suffered gravely from MRSA in recent years. Although still high, hospital infection rates have now fallen thanks to a concerted effort to improve hygiene and antibiotic prescribing.

In contrast, MRSA in pigs and poultry has recently increased dramatically and tens of millions of animals around the world have become carriers of strains which can pass to humans. Scientists have said this rapid spread is due to the intensive conditions in which such animals are kept, the regular inclusion of antibiotics in their feed or water and the world trade in live animals.

In Europe, serious community-acquired human infections and some deaths have already been caused by farm-animal strains. The Government needs to pay urgent attention to the possibility that farm-animal MRSA may emerge as a major new reservoir of human infections in the UK. A first essential step is the introduction of a comprehensive testing programme for pigs and poultry at slaughter, imported meat and community-acquired strains in humans.

Tracy Worcester, Director of the film Pig Business
Lord Peter Melchett, Policy Director, Soil Association
Derek Butler, Chair, MRSA Action UK
Edwina Currie, Patron, MRSA Action UK
Vicki Hird, Senior Campaigner, Friends of the Earth
Philip Lymbery, CEO of Compassion in World Farming
Suzi Morris, UK Director, World Society for the Protection of Animals.
Leslie Ash
Lady Carole Bamford, Daylesford Organics
Helen Browning
Professor Mark Enright
Hugh Fearnley- Whittingstall
Professor Vyvyan Howard
Zac Goldsmith MP
Dr Gesa Staats, Veterinarian Toxicologist