Egypt orders slaughter of all pigs over swine flu
Egypt began slaughtering the roughly 300,000 pigs in the country Wednesday as a precaution against swine flu even though no cases have been reported here, infuriating farmers who resisted the move and demanded compensation. Egypt responded similarly in recent years to an outbreak of bird flu, which is endemic to the country and has killed two dozen people. At one large pig farming center just north of Cairo, farmers refused to cooperate with Health Ministry workers who came to slaughter the animals and the workers left without carrying out the government order. Most in the Muslim world consider pigs unclean animals and do not eat pork because of religious restrictions. In other parts of the Muslim world, pigs are often raised by religious minorities who can eat pork.
In Jordan, the government decided Wednesday to shut down the country’s five pig farms, involving 800 animals, for violating public health safety regulations. Half the pigs will be killed and the rest will be relocated to areas away from the population, officials said. In Egypt, pigs are raised and consumed mainly by the Christian minority, which some estimates put at 10 percent of the population. Health Ministry spokesman Abdel-Rahman Shaheen estimated there are between 300,000-350,000 pigs in Egypt. Hard hit by bird flu Egypt was among the countries hardest hit by bird flu.
In the northern suburbs of Cairo Wednesday, health authorities killed 250 pigs and buried them. Angry farmers demanded compensation and provincial governors paid them around 1,000 Egyptian pounds per head. The farmers asked for an official government decision to set a price for each pig slaughtered.
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China to kill 1,332 pigs over swine fever outbreak
Authorities in China’s Zhejiang province said it will cull 1,332 hogs after an African swine fever outbreak was reported in the city of Yueqing, the city government said in a post on its official Weibo account on Thursday. Authorities have sealed off an area within 3 km from the pig farming community where the deadly disease was found, according to the statement. The local government has also banned the movement of animals that can be easily infected inside and outside the affected area, and closed some live hog trading markets and slaughterhouses following the outbreak, the statement said. China is home to the world’s largest pig herd and the case in Yueqing, a city under the jurisdiction of the nearby city of Wenzhou, was the first confirmed outbreak in the eastern province of Zhejiang and the country’s fourth in a month. The latest cull will bring the total number of pigs deliberately killed to prevent African swine fever to over 25,000 in an effort to control the spread of the highly contagious disease, which was first reported in the city of Shenyang in the northeastern province of Liaoning just three weeks ago.
Two other cases have been reported in Henan in central China and Jiangsu province to the north of Zhejiang. The virus which causes African swine fever is hardy and has been shown to remain infectious for at least 30 days in uninhabited pig pens, over four months in pork products, including salted dried hams, and indefinitely in frozen pig carcasses, it said.
DC Used to Feed Its Trash to Pigs. Why’d We Stop?
The Residence Act of 1790 moved the seat of US government from Philadelphia to what would become DC. With that small detail taken care of, the city we know today would grow around the Potomac and Anacostia rivers. The real challenge for a new city in the 19th century was how to deal with all the garbage. They often decided to go out of sight and out of mind, taking trash to pig farms outside city limits. By 1943, the public opinion of the practice had soured.
A report from the National Institutes of Health described how feeding uncooked garbage to swine was a major cause of human trichinosis, which at the time was more common in the US than anywhere else in the world-mostly thanks to parasite-ridden pigs. The NIH notes that if table scraps were thoroughly cooked and the resulting pork was prepared correctly, the disease transmission would drop dramatically, and it would again be a profitable, useful way to get rid of garbage. It turns out the NIH was right: if properly boiled for 30 minutes before feeding, the USDA allows pigs to eat garbage, and the guidelines were last updated in 2009. It’s hard to make a food pyramid out of table scraps. We throw away more and more inedible, inorganic wastes, so it’s hard to feed pigs a balanced diet on trash alone.
Plus, studies and anecdotal evidence have found that it creates lower-quality meat that spoils sooner. If you take care of the hygiene issues, feeding pigs trash is still a viable option-they don’t mind.