Factory pig farming forms a danger to public health
Planning applications for expansion of 2 pig stables on the Weperpolder are also being considered. Construction and expansion planning applications for pig farming are published well in advance on the Council pages in local papers. In this way, the number of stakeholders remains “Under control”, as pig farmers do not normally have many neighbours. The ultramodern filters and air purifiers so acclaimed by champions of factory farming still allow through 10 to 40% of harmful dusts and stench. As a result, more than 50% of pig communities have already been infected by the resistant “Hospital bacteria” MRSA. MRSA stands for “Meticilline-Resistente Staphylococcus Aureus”, an extremely dangerous bacteria for the elderly, children and people with reduced resistance. As far back as 1998 the Health Council warned of the serious consequences of large scale antibiotic use in livestock farming. In 2006 the Risk Assessment Bureau of the Food and Goods Authorities announced that we could speak of mass MRSA infection in Dutch pig farming. Almost half of these pig farmers is a carrier of the bacteria. Pig farmers and their families are therefore placed in quarantine when being admitted to hospitals. Farms with thousands of pigs are dens of infection and form a health risk to people living in the neighbourhood and all who directly or indirectly come in contact with pig farmers, members of their household and the pigs and their meat. As the bacteria is probably spread by air, pig transports form an extra risk. The RIVM has informed that there is a high presence of MRSA on surface water around pig stables. If it does make the news, the danger to public health caused by the pig farming sector is played down. At the same time the number of pigs “Living” in factory farming conditions in Ooststellingwerf are on the increase. There are mass pig stables not far beyond the Council boundaries.
Stanhope Park Veterinary Hospital
Guinea Pigs were Britain’s 5th most popular pet in 2014 after cats, dogs, rabbits and birds, with an estimated population of half a million and growing according to the pet food manufacturing association. One of the most overlooked areas of guinea pig health is neutering. While very small compared to cats and dogs spaying and castration of guinea pigs is a routine procedure in veterinary medicine and is quite common. Spaying of female guinea pigs prevents unwanted litters of babies when paired with males and also provides some health benefits. After one year of age your female guinea pig’s pelvis fuses meaning she will struggle to give birth; the babies are often too big and the pelvis is no longer mobile enough for them to pass through. Emergency caesarean sections in guinea pigs is a very risky business! Research has shown that 76% – 88% of female unspayed guinea pigs older than 18 months have ovarian cysts and these can grow quite large and the reason behind these cysts is unknown! Charlotte a guinea pig who comes to see us here at Stanhope Park Veterinary Hospital was brought for a check-up after her owner noticed she seemed to have a very round abdomen. Charlotte was booked in to be spayed and to have the cyst removed. During her surgery the cyst which could be felt was the same size as an orange! She also had a smaller cyst on her other ovary. While exceptionally large Charlotte’s ovarian cysts are quite common and at this size can begin to cause problems. The size of the cyst was due to Charlotte’s age as she was 8 years old. As guinea pigs age their ovarian cysts unfortunately grow larger! Charlotte recovered very well from the surgery to spay her and remove her cysts and she now has a very nice waistline! Loss of appetite Round or pear-shaped abdomen Hair loss on the sides of the body Pain or an uneven feeling in the abdomen when picking up your guinea pig.
Guinea Pig Welfare » Health
In order to monitor the health of your guinea pig it is important to know what ‘normal’ is. Guinea pigs adopt favourite positions, some seem to prefer stretching right out as much as possible, while other prefer to ‘curl up’ more. A change in how a guinea pig is laying may indicate pain somewhere, such as artritis, or a joint problem such as a sprain. This can just be a basic observation of whether your guinea pig drinks a lot, a little or none. If your guinea pig is not drinking enough then it can be given by syringe. A guinea pig may start making a ‘complaining’ squeak when he is picked up, perhaps indicating pain. How does my guinea pig react to hay being put in the cage? This is useful to know if you are not sure if your guinea pig is unwell or not. Most guinea pig’s favourite food is grass, therefore taking in some grass for your guinea pig to eat after an operation is going to be the one to get him eating again. Gorgeous Guineas have based their advice on Vedra Stanley Spatcher’s findings at The Cambridge Cavy Trust, a charity that specialises in guinea pig care. Vedra did trials to find out how long our domesticated guinea pigs in the United Kingdom could go between baths without any problems occuring. Dust and debris will irritate your guinea pig and make him uncomfortable. The nose should never be flaring or twitching, this is the sign of an ill guinea pig and veterinary attention should be sought. Seek the advice of a guinea pig competent vet who can preferably look at teeth using the Buccal seperators provided by the cambridge Cavy Trust, these are safer to use than the ones made by the veterinary profession quite simply because they are easier to remove in an emergency. There are many other observations of guinea pig behaviour that can be monitored, this and regular weighing are a good way to tell what might be going on with the health of your guinea pig.