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Showing posts with the label Pigs

Is Canada’s hog industry doing its part to counter antibiotic resistance, now considered a world health crisis? The most recent “report card” available seems to say, “no!”

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by Larry Powell Prairie producers were feeding more antibiotics to their pigs in 2018 than 2017.  Antibiotics have been bestowing a world of good on the human condition ever since - and even before - Alexander Fleming discovered the most famous one - penicillin - almost a century ago. Thanks to their ability to counter deadly infections - life expectancies have increased dramatically - and millions of lives have been saved - truly a turning point in the history of mankind.  But storm clouds have been gathering over this “age of enlightenment” for some time now. It’s called “Antimicrobial resistance.” AMR happens when antibiotics are used too much, or for the wrong reasons. This does happen when treating people. However, as our own Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) makes clear, the real story lies elsewhere. “There’s increasing evidence,” PHAC warns on its website, “that the use of antimicrobial agents in veterinary medicine and livestock production is an important contributing fact

Will the world’s addiction to industrial livestock production bring an end to the age of the “miracle drug?”

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by Larry Powell -  *Hog Watch Manitoba  (Note: Asterisks link   to references at bottom.) A pork processing plant in Neepawa, MB.  Photo credit - HyLifeFoods. Antibiotics have been bestowing a world of good on the human condition ever since Alexander Fleming discovered the most famous one - penicillin - almost a century ago. Thanks to their ability to counter deadly infections, millions of lives have been saved -  truly a turning point in the history of mankind. But, for some years now, clouds have been gathering. Numerous agencies, from the **World Health Organization (WHO) to our own ***Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), have been sounding similar alarm bells. All the wondrous benefits inherent in these life-saving medications may already be in jeopardy.  As PHAC states on its website, “There’s increasing evidence that the use of antimicrobial agents in veterinary medicine and livestock production is an important contributing factor in the emergence of bacteria in people which h

Despite long-standing and widespread warnings of the dangers, hog producers on the Canadian prairies were still feeding more antibiotics to their pigs in 2018 than they did the year before. (Latest figures available.)

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by Larry Powell (Updated - Mar. 5th, 2021) A Canadian Pork Council photo. In 2019, an elite panel of experts - The Council of Canadian Academies -  confirmed that thousands of Canadians were already dying each year of  "antimicrobial resistance (AMR)." And, with that resistance still growing, up to 400 thousand will likely die  of it  by mid-century. It calls the problem,   “a serious existential threat.”  And, if anyone needs more convincing, here's how Canada's own Chief Public Health Officer puts it.  " Left unchecked, there's risk of losing these medications as an essential life-saving treatment. It's estimated that antibiotic-resistant infections could cause 10 million deaths a year, globally by 2050. This is more than the current annual worldwide deaths from cancer." AMR happens when  too many antibiotics are given (when they're not needed), not only to people, but mostly to livestock (domestic animals raised for food), like cattle, pigs

How the power of the pork industry thwarts efforts to protect the public from infectious diseases. A CBS "Sixty-Minutes" video.

RELATED: "In Hogs We Trust" Part 1  Could the Manitoba government’s return to a deregulated hog industry actually contribute to a world health crisis?

Nitrogen crisis threatens Dutch environment—and economy

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Science Magazine Public domain - by  Sachiho   They're protesting a Dutch high court decision in May that suspended construction projects that pollute the atmosphere with nitrogen compounds and harm nature reserves. The freeze has stalled the expansion of dairy, pig, and poultry farms—major sources of nitrogen in the form of ammonia from animal waste. Also blocked are plans for new homes, roads, and airport runways, because construction machinery emits nitrogen oxides. All told, the shutdown puts some €14 billion worth of projects in jeopardy, according to ABN AMRO Bank. “It has really paralyzed the country,” says a political scientist  Details here.

Cargill Closes Feed Mills in China Due to African Swine Fever

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FarmJournal’s PORK Cargill Inc has closed animal feed-mills in China in recent months, partly because of the devastating spread of African swine fever (ASF) that has reduced demand.  Story here. One of millions of ASF victims. "The incidence and range of many emerging diseases are influenced by the intensification of..livestock systems."  U.N. report - "Agriculture at a Crossroads" 2009

The smell, the noise, the dust: my neighbour, the factory farm

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The Guardian Industrial farms are spreading across Europe. Greenpeace campaigners went to talk to the people who live close by.Warning: readers may find some of the images upsetting. Story here. Dead hogs in a dumpster at a Manitoba factory barn, awaiting removal to an unknown location. A PinP photo. Please also read - "In Hogs We Trust."   A critique of Manitoba’s runaway hog industry. Part 1 - Antibiotic Overuse. Part 11 - The price we pay for corporate pig$. Part 111 - From Malaysia to Manitoba - the global magnitude of livestock diseases. Part 1V - The health and environmental costs of an expanded hog industry. Part V - What’s behind Manitoba’s drive to expand?  

It’s feared that a disease deadly to hogs, “PEDv,” will return to the rampant stage it reached in Manitoba in 2017.

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FARMSCAPE "Manitoba Pork" reports 50 cases in the province already this year, and calls for stepped up efforts to combat it. Story here. Piglets with PEDv develop severe diarrhea and vomiting. Almost all die within a few days of birth. A Manitoba Pork photo. RELATED:  Another 2017 for PEDv ? “IN HOGS WE TRUST”  Part 111 - From Malaysia to Manitoba - the global magnitude of livestock diseases.