Sunday, 19 June 2011

The pigs are making us ill.

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The row about pig health is now fully under way in Britain. 

Soon a full, probably international, investigation will be launched into what has been going on in Britain, for the last 15 years.

It’s a shame it took the cranks to expose the crooks. That will cloud the issue. This is not really about alternative farming systems: it could be, it should be, but it isn’t.

This is about serious organised crime, protected, and aided, by the British civil service, that may well have killed thousands in misery and spread disease about the world.

Those responsible manipulated and protected both the crooks and the cranks quite indiscriminately but they have now lost control.

It was one of those crime waves that inevitably would be exposed eventually. There are even elements of ponzi schemes, pyramid selling and time-share scams.

Had the crimes been dealt with properly, instead of covered up, the issue would have hit the mainstream media long ago. The dangers to human health and to farming would have been stopped.

And that is the way to reform: a thorough investigation and public criminal proceedings including the actions of British and other civil servants stripped of crown immunity.

What will emerge will shock all and permanently change Britain and some other countries. It will change animal husbandry everywhere

The writer is going to have to spend the rest of his life explaining why he did not do more.

The complete, long, Daily Mail article complete with pictures is here

There is much to disagree with in the article, but the central fact: that the pigs are stuffed with antibiotics and that that poses a known, and probably realised, human health risk is undoubtedly accurate.

Giant factory pig farms aren't just morally wrong. They're making us ill


By DOMINIC WEST

Last updated at 12:24 AM on 19th June 2011

When public figures speak out about animal welfare issues, their views tend to be received with weary sighs. But the way we treat our livestock is not just a moral question. Industrial farming is making us ill...


...Thankfully, people power is on the march.


...I heard locals' fears of increased heavy lorry movements, noise, smells and the health risks from the antibiotics often given to intensively farmed pigs to keep them healthy in their overcrowded and stressful environment.

Some villagers want to move away but can't sell their houses....


...Right now, half of all antibiotics in the UK are used on farm animals and 60 per cent of those are given to pigs. The overuse of antibiotics in intensive farming means that these creatures provide a breeding ground for the development of antibiotic-resistant strains of diseases such as MRSA, E.coli and salmonella, which pass from animals to humans.

Ominously, scientists have just discovered a new MRSA strain, said to be present on as many as three per cent of dairy farms in the UK. There have already been 12 cases.

Factory farms are central to all this. When statistics at one hospital in the Netherlands were analysed, it was found that 80 per cent of MRSA cases there were caused by a strain which had evolved on factory pig farms and which is now spreading globally to other farms and from animals to humans too...

...What really bothers me is that even though these health concerns are well known, what Europe's politicians are doing is worse than nothing: the EU is encouraging factory farms...

...I also fear that the small farms dotted across our countryside, which, like the one run by my uncle have for centuries provided us with good food without the need for antibiotic drugs, will simply disappear...