Monday, 23 February 2015

Pig MRSA - The Secret Pig Factories - Denmark & Scotland


In the midst of yet another superbug crisis in Californian hospitals, the American press reference the British government report:

"A British report in December found that, in the U.S. and Europe alone, more than 50,000 lives are claimed annually from infections such as MRSA and CRE, the bacteria associated with the UCLA crisis. (The acronym stands for “carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae.”) By 2050, the report warned, such infections will kill 10 million people worldwide each year unless we address antibiotic resistance."

Britain needs to live up to its words.

You can read more on CRE in California here.

Denmark's Kjeld Hansen is also reporting on MRSA cc398 in an article entitled "The Secret Pig Factories." You can read Hansen's report in full here.

In the midst of a, doubtless justified, complaint about secrecy, he illuminates a potential solution to the problem of MRSA in pigs and how secrecy impedes the process

"Eastern High Court has ruled that the Ministry's list of MRSACC398 Pigs infected plants must remain secret...

...These producers have a legitimate claim to be able to guard against infection when purchasing weaners and breeding stock trades. With the strategy of secrecy fails L & F these members, and there are already Zealand pig farmers who are considering downloading clean piglets in Sweden to ensure their MRSA-free status..."

Mr Hanson is right, the rush is now on to locate "clean" pigs to re-populate a new re-organised improved pig farming.

Although also impeded by secrecy, Scotland is still ahead of the game in one way, with detailed proposals for an Islay High Health Pig Farm outlined on the newsgroup uk.business.agriculture in a number of posts over many months.

The island should be working to claim their share and Scotland must also press ahead with the parallel reforms to the industry across Scotland. We will elaborate on the nature of these later.

In the meantime, England has, at least, owned up to MRSA st398 in its pigs, although not the scale or duration. However, reform of the industry is clearly under way in some bitter trench warfare.

Almost alone in the world, Scotland has still not yet admitted MRSA in its pigs, let alone the scale or duration of the crisis, and its bloated pompous veterinary industry still needs to be dragged into the
process of reform.

The pieces of the jigsaw of porcine MRSA solutions are falling into place with the Scottish island of Islay taking pride of place with a very real prospect of leading the pack.

You can find the ideas behind the Islay High Health Pig Farm outlined in a series of posts on uk.business.agriculture: use the search function, we suggest "Islay" will  bring all the relevant posts to hand.

Obviously, if the project gathers pace, much more detailed reports and proposals will be necessary, and we wait developments - especially Scotland's admission of the problem and, eventually the location of some clean starter stock. Mr Hansen's pig farming contacts think Sweden. The writer thinks Norway: either is possible as are other locations that escaped the worst features of intensification and globalisation of pig farming.