Sunday, 11 January 2015

Denmark - the pig ferries - a human health risk?

Shipping and the international veterinary disaster constantly meet.

It's not just the ever reoccurring squabbles over animal safety on ferries ex Dover: that is more in the style of a veterinary civil war and which gang of veterinary bullies gain supremacy and which self-seeking charity and PR bunny reports the latest round.

But the real ferry problem is surfacing now in Denmark: a problem we have touched on several times in the context of disease carrying veterinarians on passenger airplanes. (See here.)

So this is about disease carrying pigs on passenger ferries.

Denmark is a country of many islands, most with pigs, and some with slaughterhouses due to close. There is a sizeable transport of pigs on livestock lorries on passenger ferries already - and it is set to rise dramatically as the slaughterhouses close and live pigs are exported, sometimes to other parts of Denmark, sometimes abroad on larger ferries.

The pigs are mostly carrying MRSA with many sick. The Danes admit now that they have a massive MRSA cc398 problem rapidly spreading into the general population.

So, the Danes are adopting policies that will spread the disease even faster and currently putting people and sick pigs in close proximity on small ferries and, potentially worse, on large ferries.

Britain, of course, is doing exactly the same thing, without admitting that MRSA cc398 is present in British pigs (except Northern Ireland where it has been recently admitted.)

Britain's criminalised veterinary establishment are doing far more than profiting from simple drug-dealing. They are an international menace loose on the high seas.

You deal with pirates by international co-operation and indeed international networks are now being established to get the veterinarians back under proper democratic control and out of decisions impacting upon public health.

Without antibiotics they are of little use anyway, so we can expect to need far fewer veterinarians, and those externally regulated to high ethical standards.

Then the task is getting the pigs healthy and the people protected really starts.

Britain has lagged well behind, but will catch up as the truth of what has being going on here reaches a wider world.

Here is a good article from Kjeld Hansen covering some of the latest developments and implications.