For the first time since 1992, hog cholera, or swine fever, has hit a factory farm in Japan, prompting a halt of pork exports across the country. To stop the spread, a task force killed and buried 610 pigs after 140 pigs at the farm died from the disease.
The Swine Health Information Center reports:
Last week, one pig died suddenly, followed by the mortality of 80 others. On Sunday, officials declared the animals as tested positive for Classical Swine fever (CSF), also known as Hog Cholera.
Classical swine fever is contagious and often fatal. Signs of infection are lethargy; fever; yellowish diarrhea; vomiting; and purple skin discoloration of the ears, lower abdomen, and legs. It commonly results from feeding uncooked or undercooked meat products or garbage to pigs. While no evidence suggests that it’s transmissible to humans, the virus easily spreads among pigs in the filthy, overcrowded conditions at factory farms.
To combat diseases, the industry administers over 450 drugs, drug combinations, and other feed additives to animals, according to the Center for Food Safety. To make matters worse, the Center for Food Safety found that drugs posing “significant threats” to humans, animals, and the environment are administered to animals. Shockingly, these have been approved by the FDA and are on the market. Of the drugs studied, 12 are banned for use as animal drugs in other countries but not in the United States.
With more than 80 percent of all antibiotics in the U.S. administered to farmed animals to curb infections, treat diseases, or promote growth and feed efficiency, it’s no surprise that the industry is asking for money to purchase more drugs.
Coincidentally, last week the National Pork Producers Council, American Association of Swine Veterinarians, National Pork Board, Swine Health Information Center, and U.S. Department of Agriculture met to discuss foreign animal diseases from infected animals and animal products imported into the country. According to an industry website, the National Pork Producers Council is asking for $150 million for a vaccine bank, $30 million for diagnosing animal diseases, and $70 million for disease prevention in the 2018 farm bill, which contains the dangerous King Amendment.
That’s 250 million of your tax dollars spent keeping factory-farmed pigs alive in conditions that would otherwise kill them.
But it’s not just the pork industry. Fish factory farms are so filthy vaccines no longer work. And overuse of antibiotics allows bacteria to mutate and become resistant, making the threat of antibiotic-resistant infections in humans greater than ever.
In short, whether riddled with diseases like swine fever or rampant with antibiotic overuse to combat them, factory farms put us all at risk. As though it weren’t bad enough, they also subject billions of animals to cruelties few of us can even imagine.
See for yourself:
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