Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Hepatitis E - Mussels - Scotland

We have long known that British oysters and other shellfish are heavily infected with norovirus. Why they are still on sale baffles us.

It has long been obvious that pig effluent is the culprit in many cases, maybe human sewage too.

Now, we see a connection between shellfish, pig effluent and Hepatitis E in Scotland.

What UK governments do know, they ignore, leaving it to civil servants apparently under the impression that you can handle zoonotic disease with increased PR and harassing anyone speaking out.

This comment is undeniable. 

...“Thus, possible transmission routes for HEV remain poorly studied in the United Kingdom (2).”...

Shipping readers will note the reference to an incident on a cruise vessel. We looked at the official report on a similar incident on a vessel ex the UK and came to the conclusion that it was worthless. To us it looked like contaminated water supply.

The letter in full is here


Hepatitis E Virus Genotype 3 in Shellfish, United Kingdom

To the Editor: Bivalve mollusks (shellfish), such as mussels and oysters, are filter feeders; they concentrate microorganisms of human and animal origin (up to 100×) from the surrounding environment. Several recent reports have linked the incidence of human infection with hepatitis E virus (HEV) to consumption of undercooked pork, game products, and shellfish (1,2). Infectious HEV has been found in swine manure and wastewater (3); therefore, application of manure to land and subsequent runoff could contaminate coastal water, leading to contamination of shellfish and, subsequently, possible human infection... 

Monday, 29 October 2012

Superbug threat on the rise through farm animals

The real killer fact that takes Britain’s corrupt government veterinarians from alarming levels of incompetence into organised crime is the lack of transparency.

They do not want anyone to know just how much antibiotic they are pouring into British livestock, by species, in order to keep sick beasts alive long enough to get them to slaughter.

They know the day of reckoning will come, so try simply to delay the time when they will be called to account by hiding up the data and allowing private veterinarians to follow their lead.

It has long been clear that events beyond Britain will now determine the inevitable exposure, investigation and prosecution of state sponsored crime in Britain.

Australia has perked up and is asking all the right questions about their own situation.

It's a good article from ABC Australia and should be read in full here.

Superbug threat on the rise through farm animals

By Flint Duxfield
Monday, 29 October  2012 

Doctors say overuse of antibiotics in animals is increasing the threat of human superbugs developing. (Lisa Kingsberry)
Overuse of antibiotics in farm animals is leaving Australians exposed to an increasing risk from deadly superbugs.
Medical experts say there has been a recent rise in superbugs spreading through the food chain due to poor surveillance and regulation of antibiotic use on farms.
Professor Peter Collignon from the Australian National University says there are particular concerns about the use of preventative antibiotics in poultry, pork and cattle feedlots.
"There are too many antibiotics given to animals and even the less-complicated antibiotics are bad, because they drive up resistance through multi-resistance and cross selection for the bad ones."
"We need more transparency to see what is being used and where they're being used because this kills people."...
...Even in Europe, where there are much better health regulations, the World Health Organisation estimates resistant bacteria kills 25,000 people each year....

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Even the ashes crumble before state crime

They had seven years warning but allowed live trees to be imported.

First, we lost the elms to imported disease, then the cows to Mad Cow - BSE, the pigs to CSF, the sheep, pigs and cattle  to FMD, then the birds to flu, now we lose the ash trees.

We lose the children and the old people, the sick and the vulnerable to antibiotic resistant disease and worse.

We lose the country that bred, fed and cherished them


History will condemn them as greedy pompous charlatans and criticise us for tolerating their pretensions and gross crimes against humanity.

We live through the age of state sponsored crime and preventable epidemics.

The full Guardian article is here.

Ash dieback fungus will 'change countryside very significantly'

Scientist in charge of tackling fungus that has killed over 100,000 ash trees says there could be serious ecological consequences.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Veterinarians oppose restrictions on antibiotic use

British veterinarians certainly intend to be forced into antibiotic prescription reform kicking and screaming.

It’s a bit late for token changes. Much damage to public health has long been done by over-prescription in livestock farming..

Current levels of use of antibiotics for livestock is continuing to undermine human health, not least that of the veterinarians' own, their families’, the farmers and their families'.

The veterinarians have to prove that what they are doing is safe for humans, not the other way round.

The Dutch position is right: take the antibiotics away and let the veterinarians make the scientific case for being allowed to continue to prescribe, if they can.

If they are so sure there is no hazard to human health, they should have no problem comprehensively proving their case.

The Pig Site report here

Call for Science to Influence Key Decisions on Antibiotic Use

26 October 2012

UK - The EU is considering sheltering some key antibiotics from veterinary use to protect their efficacy in human medicine. Yet science indicates that the link between on-farm use and the development of resistance in human pathogens is unlikely, with politics driving key decisions. Editor, Charlotte Johnston, reports from a UK veterinary conference...

...Speaking at the British Mastitis Conference, Declan O’Rourke from Ortec Veterinary Consultancy said that there was no science behind the Dutch government’s decision to target a 70 per cent reduction in antibiotic use between 2009 and 2015. ...

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Hepatitis E in British pigs - BBC Transcript

Following on from yesterdays report:

Hepatitis E in pigs - BBC reports

we have managed to obtain a transcript from what appears to be an earlier broadcast on the 2nd October 2012. 

This contains some alarming information for Britain, the United States and elsewhere

The  full transcript is here we just give some quotes. "Dalton" is Dr Harry Dalton – The Royal Cornwall Hospital

What Doctors Don't Tell You, hepatitis E...

Our studies have shown that hepatitis E is in fact the commonest cause of viral hepatitis here in the UK. The incidence of the infections, that's new infections every year, is 0.2% of the population, so that's a 120,000 infections every year, now that's an awful lot. In our Cornish population we estimate that about 30% of Cornish men and Cornish women over the age of 80 have been exposed to this virus at some stage in their life. And it's a slightly different strain of virus to the one found in the developing world but it's very closely related and this particular virus is what's called a zoonotic infection derived from animals and in the case of hepatitis E the primary host is the pig. They're perfectly happy pigs, they're not ill in any way, they just carry the virus and it's been estimated that about 85% of the pigs in the UK, for example, show evidence of infection and at one time 20% of the pigs in Britain are excreting this virus in their stool in very large quantities. And then somehow the virus is making its way from the pig population to human beings. There are various theories about how this might happen, the best evidence is it's contracted by eating pig meat - sausages, liver, that kind of thing - that haven't been cooked properly and they cause infection in that way. The key thing about it is the cooking temperature to kill this virus is 71 degrees centigrade but for 20 minutes, so that's quite a long time to cook a sausage. 

Can hepatitis E be spread by contaminated blood products too? 

Yes it can. 

And are our blood stocks routinely tested for hepatitis E? 

No our blood stocks aren't routinely tested and that's obviously a worry. They're certainly worried about it in the United States. The Food and Drug Administration are actively looking at this problem because they're very concerned about if they've got it in their blood supply - and they're not sure, they don't know in fact - and what implications that might have. ...

What about the risk during pregnancy? 

The risk during pregnancy in India and the developing countries - high mortality if you're pregnant. In this country we don't see that, it's a different strain of virus, it means that most cases that we see are not in women of childbearing age. 

Is the emergence of hepatitis E here in the UK, is this a new disease or is it a disease that we've only just come to recognise? 

I think it's almost certainly been here for well over 200 years and we've only just clocked on to it. We were misled by poor quality initial diagnostics and a perceived wisdom which said hepatitis E is just a problem in the developing world and that became the mantra and it was really very badly wrong. ...

Monday, 22 October 2012

Hepatitis E in pigs - BBC reports

Finally, after years of struggle, Hepatitis E in pigs in Britain and passing to people has hit the broadcast news.

The BBC World Service has carried a report quoting Dr Harry Dalton in Cornwall.

He tells us that 20 percent of British pigs have Hepatitis E at any one time, and a victim of Hepatitis E is interviewed.

There are apparently very reasonable doubts about the safety of pork and sausages.

You can hear the BBC  report here

Our previous reports are here


Hepatitis E in pigs - are sausages a risk?



Hepatitis E in British sausages


Hepatitis E infections soar - Macau & Hong Kong


Hepatitis E - three dead - story goes national


Hepatitis E - three dead, 55 infected - linked to pig farming


Hepatitis E in veterinarians and pork

Dangerous foods banned by US supermarkets

This is an important development.

Food Poisoning, often from animal sources via vegetables, is now being taken very seriously in the USA, the sources of poisoning are more carefully tracked and the results published promptly, however inconvenient.

It seems excessive to ban a whole food group, but the deaths and damages have been significant, not least to many children, in Europe as well as the USA.

We all know that developments in the USA are usually mirrored by Britain after a variable delay.

It would be good to see dozy devious Defra, the government Ministry involved, get ahead of the curve and save some lives..

If they won't move, the supermarkets will have to do the job and indeed, if you read between the lines, you can see they are starting to make changes in the UK.

As always, read the whole report from USA today, available here

Another Supermarket Chain Will Permanently Stop Selling Sprouts Due To 'Potential Food Safety Risk'

Elizabeth Weise, USA Today | Oct. 21, 2012, 6:35 AM | 4,214 | 11

Kroger , the nation's largest supermarket chain, has announced it will stop selling sprouts on Monday because of their "potential food safety risk." It joins retail behemoth Walmart, which quietly stopped selling the crunchy greens in 2010.

"After a thorough, science-based review, we have decided to voluntarily discontinue selling fresh sprouts," Payton Pruett, Kroger's vice president of food safety, said in a statement.

"This is big," said Marion Nestle, a professor of food safety at New York University. "This is a major retailer saying 'We aren't going to take it anymore. We can't risk harming our customers, and our suppliers are unwilling or unable to produce safe sprouts.' "...

...FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise that children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems should avoid eating raw sprouts of all kinds, including alfalfa, clover, radish and mung bean sprouts. Sprouts can be "cooked thoroughly to reduce the risk of illness," the FDA says.

Friday, 19 October 2012

70% British pig herds have swine flu

That Britain's pig herds have been ill for many years comes as no surprise and is part of the explanation for the poor productivity per sow.

Irish productivity is very low too, although not quite as low as British figures - details here

This level of swine flu comes as a considerable shock.

Full Farmers Weekly report here.

Swine flu incidence higher than thought

Aly Balsom
Friday 19 October 2012 12:31

Nearly three-quarters of British pig herds are infected with swine flu, according to new findings.
Routine diagnostic blood testing in the UK and Ireland indicated that the incidence of the disease could be higher than expected, with more than 70% of British herds having one or more pigs test positive. This figure increased to more than 90% in Ireland....

Antibiotic advertisements banned in UK

This is all part of a new regime to make veterinarians responsible for their actions.

In Britain, the poor little flowers were complaining that these big burly farmers were bullying them to prescribe excessive antibiotics, because they had read advertisements in the farming press.

That’s another excuse for over prescription, and resultant risks to human health, shot down and the British government gets the blame for delay, yet again, from the EU:

"the UK did not "correctly transpose" the EU Directive..."

Full report from Pig Progress here

Antibiotic advertisements banned in UK
19 Oct 2012

The advertisement of antimicrobial medicines to farmers in the UK will be banned from 2013 in a bid to reduce antimicrobial resistance in humans and animals.

The change comes as a result of the European Commission's view that the UK did not "correctly transpose" the EU Directive which prohibits the advertising of certain medicinal products to the general public...

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Schmallenberg in Scotland from live sheep

Well, that was not a midge, was it?

Not even one that can fly backwards against the wind and at right angles across the North Sea via the English Channel (see previous posts)

We all know British government vets: anything but live movements are responsible for all outbreaks and epidemics.

Live movements might make them responsible for disease spread and that might cause a lot of questions to be asked about numerous previous epidemics including CSF and, Foot and Mouth.

Now watch the veterinary huffing, puffing, creaking PR machine go into over-drive.

Scottish Farmer report in full here


Schmallenberg found in Scotland
Alison Mann

SCHMALLENBERG HAS been found in northern Scotland after a tup brought in from Shropshire tested positive for the disease...

Monday, 15 October 2012

Badger Cull Scandal and Defra Corruption

We are neutral on the science, and whether that is right or not, but:

1. This suggestion that it is wrong is consistent with debunking all the other cover-ups, where anything but disease passing through excessive movement, or indeed any movements of livestock was responsible for disease spread.

We know Maff-Defra vets have repeatedly promoted anything other than livestock movements for many years, as the cause for every outbreak of anything. They keep getting away with the most outrageous nonsence.

If it was live movements they would have to accept responsibility for lax controls. We were not joking when we said their motto must be:

"Blame someone else preferably innocent." 

now the badgers are the culprit, not Britain's corrupt veterinarians.

2. They cannot go ahead with the cull with this level and number of scientists publicly rubbishing them.

This time they are being faced down not by a sole ex-shipbroker under threats and a barrage of deliberate fabrications from the veterinary industry, their fellow travellers and fan club.

Now, it is their own senior people, and in numbers, telling the world that Britain's government vets have got it wrong and that cattle movements are to blame.

3. A long episode of crime uncontrolled must be just about all over.

We  have long known there were potential whistle-blowers and  supporters in the corrupt British agriculture ministry Maff-Defra.

As any scientific protest gathers speed, they will come out of the woodwork to tell the truth. It is hard to complain against British veterinarians: you suffer terribly for doing so. The stand of these eminent scientists should give new whistle-blowers comfort.

Now, we should all start getting ready for a series of scandals that will rock the world. The key events were in 2000, the subjects the ownership of the pigs in the UK, the husbandry system, circovirus and CSF epidemics. Once that exposure is under way, the FMD fabrications will fall too.

Boring stuff, in detail, but earth shattering too. The scandal goes way beyond Britain.

By that stage full criminal enquiries will be under way and scandal after scandal, some remote from animal health, will emerge.

Badgers are not the issue for us, or politics. Our concern is simple: stopping serious state sponsored crime.

Investigators should not miss the fabrications and defamation published on uk.business.agriculture by stalkers and trace them back to their origins.

Britain's corrupt veterinary industry thinks that slick PR and disinformation can cover up their crimes against both animals and humanity..

They are wrong. This is England.

The important Guardian report in full is here

Badger cull: government accused of failing to properly seek alternatives

Scientist John Bourne, who led landmark 10-year cull says it is cattle that spread TB through the country, not badgers

Ministers are going "nowhere near far enough" in seeking alternatives to the imminent cull of badgers, according the scientist who led the landmark 10-year culling trial that remains the scientific benchmark for the policy.

According to Prof John Bourne, stricter measures to stop cows spreading tuberculoisis to other cows are the only way to combat the disease effectively, as they had in the 1960s when TB was virtually eradicated in England. "Despite some improvements, the government is still going nowhere near far enough with biosecurity", he said. "It is not badgers that spread the disease throughout the country; it is cattle"...

Saturday, 13 October 2012

First Irish case of 'pig MRSA'

We now have a little more information on the Irish human case of MRSA st398 from Irish Health.

The first news came on Monday and is here with comment.

The strain was indeed MRSA st398, ( cc398 ) as we expected, and the Irish are connecting it to pigs at least generally, and we know it was found late last year.

The article made it  clear that there is a difference between Irish and other European guidelines.

The Irish Health authorities confirm that prompt detection of isolates of this strain among animals and humans in Ireland is of the utmost importance, and that if they find any more cases they intend to do something about it.

The speed is not very commendable, but at least they recognise that they may have a problem and may have to implement stricter measures to protect the hospitals.

British veterinary heads are still firmly stuffed under the pillow and will have to be dragged out to face reality and a growing crisis.

The full Irish Health article is available here

First Irish case of 'pig MRSA'

[Posted: Sat 13/10/2012 by Niall Hunter

The first livestock-associated MRSA case has been reported in Ireland, following lab tests on an elderly patient.
The health authorities have warned that if more specimens of this potentially deadly new MRSA type are found in Ireland, extra infection prevention and control measures will have to be implemented to prevent its spread.
This would include pre-admission screening of high-risk patients who have had close contacts with livestock.

While it has not been confirmed whether the patient concerned became seriously ill as a result of the bug, this type of MRSA has been known to cause life-threatening infections in humans when it has occurred in other countries.

The HSE's Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) has revealed that the ST398 MRSA strain, sometimes dubbed 'pig MRSA', was detected recently an elderly man living in a rural nursing home, who had been a part-time cattle farmer.

He was screened a number of times for MRSA during periods of hospitalisation between 2009 and 2011, and the 'pig MRSA' bug was found following extensive lab tests after his most recent hospitalisation late last year.
'Pig MRSA' was originally reported in 2005 among pigs, pig farmers and their close contracts in France and the Netherlands...

...It said if more isolates of the 'pig MRSA' strain are detected in Ireland, additional infection prevention and control measures will be needed to prevent its spread.

This would potentially include extending pre-admission screening of patients at high-risk of infection entering Irish hospitals to those with close contacts, or family members with close contacts with livestock.
The HPSC's report did not state in which part of Ireland the case occurred.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Pig Disease - the most important webpage

One of the most important webpages ever has been preserved in the British National Archives. You can read the header on the WWW page, here

It says:

This snapshot, taken on 24/08/2010, shows web content acquired for preservation by The National Archives. External links, forms and search may not work in archived websites and contact details are likely to be out of date. 

Clear evidence that in 2009 British pigs were very much less productive than those in the rest of Europe and why their pig industry could not compete. No industry can possibly survive such low productivity in an open market.

The most critical bit is this, look at the figures – well below the Dutch, and the Dutch who creditably don’t even pretend their sows are healthy.

There is no data on how the USA and Canada would come on an international table, but someone should be checking that out.

Pigs, especially in troubled Britain, have been hit by a series of new  illnesses and epidemics since 1999. It is impossible to make money out of such sick and under-producing pigs, however good the husbandry.

Some of these diseases have become antibiotic resistant, because of the excessive use of antibiotics, and are spreading to the human population.

Every effort has been made by Defra, Britain's infamous agricultural Ministry, to hide or underplay the health status of the pigs and the risks to human health, including that of the farmers, pig and pork workers, local residents and veterinarians. Even consumers are at risk.

This page also provides evidence that they did so knowingly.

There are no signs that the situation has got better since 2009.

BPEX is a division of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, funded by a levy on pigs slaughtered in England.

Here are the figures from the above page:

Carcase weight (kg) per sow per year
Great Britain
EU Ave
Source: Pig Cost of Production in Selected Countries, 2009

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Living near livestock may increase risk of acquiring MRSA

In Britain, Defra's government veterinarians and their cronies are almost certainly going to have to take the blame for many human deaths and face a very thorough criminal investigation, not least for threatening witnesses to the House of Commons.

In their appalling arrogance they thought themselves untouchable.

They are untouchable, but perhaps not in the way that they thought.

But, of course, in many years, they have not managed to find MRSA in British pigs. They kindest explanation is that they did not look properly for fear of what they would find.

But, don't try that in court, as they say.

Report here

Public release date: 10-Oct-2012

Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health

Living near livestock may increase risk of acquiring MRSA

People who live near livestock or in livestock farming communities may be at greater risk of acquiring, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), according to a new study led by an international team of researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Dutch Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam. A comparison of livestock density, place of residence and existing information on risk factors found that regional density of livestock is an important risk factor for nasal carriage of livestock-associated (LA) MRSA for persons with and without direct contact with livestock. The results are featured in the November issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases. Staphylococcus aureus is a pathogen that can cause a range of illnesses in humans, from minor to life-threatening skin, bloodstream, respiratory, urinary and surgical site infections.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, MRSA is a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to penicillin and certain first-line antibiotics called beta-lactams. MRSA infections are most commonly infections of the skin. Though nasal carriage, the indicator under study in this research, does not indicate that someone is infected with MRSA, it is associated with increased risks of eventual infection. Moreover, in this study it is a measure of exposure to MRSA. "In the past, MRSA has been largely associated with hospitals and other health care facilities, but in the last decade the majority of infections have been acquired in the community outside of a health care setting," said Ellen Silbergeld, PhD, co-author of the study and a professor with the Bloomberg School of Public Health's Department of Environmental Health Sciences.

This study is the first to suggest the importance of indirect routes of transmission of livestock-associated MRSA. Jan Kluytmans, MD, PhD, co-author of the study and professor of Medical Microbiology and Infection Control, VU University Medical Center Amsterdam and Amphia Hospital Breda, the Netherlands, said, "In the Netherlands LA-MRSA was first found in 2003 and was initially almost exclusively found in persons with direct contact to livestock. In recent years LA-MRSA is found with increasing frequency in community-dwelling individuals with no known contact with livestock. It is important to determine the routes of transmission outside of the farms since this may have important consequences for public health."

"Using logistic regression, we found that as the density of veal calves, pigs, or cattle doubles in a specific area, the odds of carrying LA-MRSA increases between 24 percent and 77 percent, depending on the animal. These results challenge us to understand how these exposures could be occurring," said Beth Feingold, PhD, MPH, MESc, lead author of the study, Bloomberg School of Public Health graduate and the Glenadore and Howard L. Pim Postdoctoral Fellow in Global Change at the Johns Hopkins Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. "This work has potential policy implications for MRSA surveillance in countries with a substantial percentage of total MRSA cases being livestock-associated MRSA. Controlling the spread of livestock-associated MRSA requires attention to community members in animal-dense regions who are otherwise unaffiliated with livestock farming."

Using existing data on non-typable or livestock-associated MRSA carriage from the Netherlands, as well as country-wide statistics on livestock and population densities, the team of U.S. and Dutch researchers examined how regional-level factors played into an individual's risk, after accounting for their personal risk factors such as their direct contact with animals, whether they lived in a rural or urban locale, and in what situation they likely acquired MRSA. Using geographic information systems, the researchers geocoded livestock-associated MRSA cases and other types of MRSA controls by postal codes. They used the geographic information to examine spatial patterns of livestock-associated MRSA compared to other types of MRSA. Researchers found that the odds of LA-MRSA as compared to other types of MRSA are highest in the Southeast region of the country, a major livestock production area of the Netherlands.

The authors conclude that the study may also have serious implications for individuals living in the U.S. due to the sheer volume of pig farms in this country. "Swine production is a significant industry in the Netherlands, but its density and scale are much less than in the United States. Future work should investigate the relationship between intensive livestock operations in the US and exposures to drug-resistant microbes including MRSA," said Ellen Silbergeld. ###

"Livestock Density as Risk Factor for Livestock-associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, the Netherlands," was written by Beth Feingold, Ellen Silbergeld, Frank Curriero, Brigitte Van Cleef, Max Heck and Jan Kluytmans.

The research was funded by the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Human with livestock MRSA in Ireland

A former cattle farmer has been found with two strains of MRSA, one livestock associated.

We don't have the strain yet, but we can guess it will be MRSA st398 or a close relative.

It's probably Britain's last chance to own up to livestock MRSA in the pigs before they get caught and humiliated on the world stage.

Britain's corrupt government veterinarians will probably say they got it from Ireland.

Irish Independent report here

Saturday, 6 October 2012

MRSA st398 - British scientific breakthrough?

Published yesterday by the European Union, but too long to give here in full. 

This is not going to please Britain’s government veterinarians. They can’t keep  faking it up with the world watching.

The world will be coming to investigate the geniuses that have kept Britain’s pigs free of MRSA, especially MRSA st398, for so many years, when virtually everyone else has admitted finding it in their pigs, pork, farmers and veterinarians.

They are going to want to know how British science achieved this apparent miracle, and use that information  to benefit the world.

Before getting too excited about a scientific breakthrough I suggest the EU starts by testing the veterinarians, then the pigs and the pork.

How can we tell they are being economical with the truth? 

One way is very simple, with no science required. 

If the pigs really were clear of MRSA, Britain's corrupt agricultural ministry, once MAFF, now DEFRA, would have been yelling it from the rooftops as a triumph of British veterinary science and collecting knighthoods and honours by the bucketful.

Other than giving a nil return following the last inadequate testing ordered by the EU, the silence is deafening.

Just a header and a selected quote:

Technical specifications on the harmonised monitoring and reporting of antimicrobial resistance in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in food-producing animals and food
EFSA Journal 2012;10(10):2897 [56 pp.]. doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2012.2897
European Food Safety AuthorityAcknowledgment Contact Description: http://www.efsa.europa.eu/efsa_rep/repository/images/bnt_down2.gif

Type: Scientific Report of EFSAOn request from: European Commission, Health and Consumers Directorate-GeneralQuestion number: EFSA-Q-2012-00555Approved: 24 September 2012Published: 05 October 2012Affiliation: European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Parma Italy

Pigs, in particular, have been acknowledged as an important source of colonisation with livestock-associated MRSA in pig farmers, veterinarians, and their families, through direct or indirect contact with pigs. In order to increase awareness and to assess the occurrence of MRSA in pig primary production across the EU, an EU-wide baseline survey was performed in 2008 to obtain comparable preliminary data on the occurrence and diversity of MRSA in pig primary production in all Member States through a harmonised sampling scheme. MRSA has since been detected in cattle, chickens, horses, pigs, rabbits, seals, cats, dogs and birds. An assessment of the public health significance of MRSA in animals and food was issued by the European Food Safety Authority in 2009.”

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Denmark - Live Pig MRSA risks recognised

The successes and failures of MRSA control in Denmark are commendably publicly recorded and openly and freely discussed.

How different from dangerous secretive Britain, where corrupt government veterinarians and their cronies control the information reaching the domestic media and harass witnesses to Parliament!

In Britain, even people working with pigs are unaware of the health risks.

Highlights from this report from their National  Food Institute (Technical University of Denmark)  published today. The whole report is of interest everywhere pork is reared and beyond.

Full report here

Increasing occurrence of MRSA bacteria

In 2011, more Danes became infected with MRSA bacteria, and the number was the highest in over 25 years. The increase was primarily seen in otherwise healthy people without any hospital relation. Although the number of MRSA positive pig herds is on a par with the level seen in 2010, significantly more pigs at slaughter were found to be infected with the so-called pig MRSA, and the number of people infected with pig MRSA is increasing. This appears from the Danish surveillance report, DANMAP, for 2011.
MRSA bacteria are resistant to antimicrobial agents that are essential to treating life-threatening infections in humans. The number of people diagnosed with MRSA continues to rise, but compared with other countries, Denmark still experiences a low occurrence of infections caused by MRSA bacteria...

...Increase in occurrence of pig MRSA
In 2011, the occurrence of MRSA was studied in approx. 80 pig farms and about 800 pigs and 180 cattle in slaughterhouses. MRSA was not found in cattle, but in 16% of pig herds, which was the same level as in 2010.

44% of the pigs tested positive for MRSA at slaughter, which was higher than in 2009, when the last survey of pigs in slaughterhouses was conducted. This suggests that there was a higher occurrence in the positive herds than previously which means that MRSA more frequently was transmitted between pigs during transport and before slaughter.

The number of people infected with MRSA of the so-called pig type, CC398, increased from 109 in 2010 to 164 in 2011. MRSA CC398 constituted 12.5% of all MRSA cases in 2011. The vast majority of new cases were still seen in persons in direct contact with pigs.

“We need to prevent increasing occurrence of MRSA in pigs because we have a large pig production in Denmark and pigs are the main source of MRSA CC398”, says Yvonne Agersø, Senior Researcher at the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark.

Revision of MRSA guideline
As a consequence of the increasing occurrence of MRSA CC398 contact with live pigs is now included as a risk factor in the revised MRSA guideline for healthcare professionals which will be published this autumn.

“The continued increase of community acquired MRSA and the increasing occurrence in agriculture should be taken seriously and combated as it could otherwise lead to increased hospital incidence. The fact that contact with live pigs is added as a risk factor in the revised MRSA guideline and is an important step in the right direction”, says Robert Skov.

Hepatitis E in pigs - are sausages a risk?

This is a story we have been covering for more than two years with increasing concern.

We have been worried about Hepatitis E in British pigs, pork and people, not least of illness in pig farmers being investigated by the NHS.

Once again, we see all the signs of a classic British government veterinary cover-up

Links to previous British reports can be found here:


the last dealt specifically with Hepatitis E in British sausages and the on-going investigation.

Now we get an excellent report  giving some statistics on the prevalence of the disease in Portuguese pigs and the implications here. It should be read in full

Published on October 2, 2012 at 5:15 PM · 
By Sarah Guy, medwireNews Reporter

The prevalence of hepatitis E virus (HEV) in domestic pigs is between 10% and 30%, with a likelihood that infected pigs enter the pork production chain thereby threatening public health, indicate Portuguese study results...

..."There is now compelling evidence that in industrialized countries, human HEV infection mainly originates from swine," they explain, adding that with the results presented in their study, "it is clear that HEV is highly circulating."

They conclude that in Portugal: "HEV-infected animals are likely to enter the pork production chain and hence HEV contaminations in the food chain are likely to occur. This could be an increasing public health concern."

Monday, 1 October 2012

USA restricts EU germplasm - Schmallenberg risk

This is the kind of restriction that meets our enthusiastic approval. 

International germplasm movements are simply not worth the risk. Breeding stock salesmen and itinerant veterinarians dislike that kind of restriction, but their needs have to come second to stopping rather than just coping with devastating epidemics.

In the absence of any reliable information, and in view of the ridiculous black propaganda, we can be pretty certain that germplasm, including live movements, caused the initial outbreaks of Circovirus, CSF and FMD in Britain and much more significantly that the true cause was known by the government veterinarians. 

If they can’t be trusted to tell the truth, they and their ilk certainly can’t be trusted with importing and exporting germplasm or regulating such movements.

Schmallenberg Virus Detected in Wales
September 28, 2012
Schmallenberg virus (SBV), a virus that affects cattle, sheep and goats has been detected for the first time in Wales, the Welsh Government has confirmed.

SBV antibodies have been discovered in three cows and one calf. The virus produces fever, diarrhea and loss of milk production in adult cattle, though animals recover. It is thought to pose no risk to humans.

In February, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) issued an import alert placing additional restrictions on shipments of ruminant germplasm originating from the European Union (EU) and countries that are not formally part of the EU but that follow EU legislation. These restrictions were put into place to temporarily address the emergence of SBV in seven EU countries and believed to be distributed throughout other parts of Europe.

APHIS is negotiating new protocols with the EU that will incorporate additional risk mitigations for SBV and that will facilitate exports of germplasm collected in the future.