China is incubating two new strains of bird flu and also dealing with an outbreak of swine flu. These different viruses mixed together to form a very potent pathogen.
BRIAN MCGLEENON: Chinese factory farming is creating the perfect environment for “the mutation and amplification of new viruses” and unless conditions improve “this pandemic will not be the last one”, a leading scientist has warned. Global Head of Research and Animal Welfare for Animals in Farming Kate Blaszak described the growth of intensive farming units not just in China but across the world and pointed to them as having the potential to both increase antibiotic resistance and create a deadlier pathogen than COVID-19.
Ms Blaszak said: “China is incubating two new strains of bird flu. It is also dealing with an outbreak of swine flu, which is a mixture of human, pig, and avian influenza viruses. “These different viruses mixed together to form a very potent pathogen. “The current swine flu virus that has broken out in China has the potential to bind very successfully in the human throat and respiratory system.”
The veterinary scientist said in the last ten to 15 years China has seen a vast and rapid shift away from traditional farming practices and is now emulating the US model of high-intensity farming were animals are kept in dark, confined environments. Ms Blaszak described the new factory farming system in China as lacking regulations and operating with very poor animal welfare principles.
The hundreds of millions of animals contained within the new factory systems are under so much stress that is lowering their immune systems making them need constant feeds of antibiotics to stay healthy and alive. Ms Blaszak said: “These kinds of low welfare environments lower animals immunities and allows viruses to propagate. “They create the perfect scenario for the mixing of viruses and the mutation and amplification of viruses”… China is the biggest pig producer in the world and the second-biggest chicken producer in the world.
Ms Blaszak describes how the high numbers of high density, genetically uniform animals are the perfect conditions for another virus to propagate that could potentially jump to humans… Ms Blaszak stated the need to improve the welfare standard of animals and move away from a factory farming system, “so we can take the pressure off meat production by reducing the consumption of meat”. SOURCE…