A swine flu disaster in China has claimed the lives of more than 1 million pigs, and the problem is far from over.
Since August last year thousands of pigs have either died or been culled on a daily basis.
The disease has spread to slaughterhouses in Hong Kong – where attempts to quarantine the area meant 4,100 pigs were killed on Friday in Sheung Shui.
Similar incidents have regularly been reported regularly in recent months, forcing the largest abattoirs in the city to temporarily close.
The disease is not harmful for humans, but deadly for pigs. One slaughterhouse was shut down from May 11-18 and 6,000 pigs were killed, according to Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan Siu.
The huge businesses are then propped up financially by the government – costing the tax payer tens of millions of dollars.
Pigs imported from mainland China often do not show any symptoms of the disease, making it difficult to contain.
Quarantine procedures in China leave ‘a lot to be desired’, according to reports. Pigs crammed into factories in huge numbers easily transmit the disease, rapidly causing thousands to fall fatally ill.
Chan Kin-yip, the chairman of the Federation of Hong Kong Agricultural Associations, told the South China Morning Post that monetary compensation could not make up for the loss of the lives, and demanded authorities improve the inspection process.
He said that in the most recent slaughter of 4,100 pigs ‘infected animals were allowed to spread the virus, innocently affecting thousand of others at the slaughter house’.
A spokesman for The Vegan Society told Totally Vegan Buzz: “We are devastated to learn about the loss of so many innocent lives to this awful disease.
“Unfortunately in the animal agriculture industry, it is not difficult for diseases like this to spread quickly due to the animals being kept together in huge numbers, in moist and bacteria-ridden enclosed spaces, with no access to natural light or fresh air.
“Rather than worrying about the ‘pork’ supply and cost of meat, we would like to see the authorities do everything they can to ensure no more pigs suffer from this horrible disease.
“We hope this story will warm consumers’ hearts and help them see that they are contributing to this through their purchases of animal products.”
What do you think of the swine flu outbreak? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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