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BSE will affect the swine industry

ínformative posts on swine and disease
Excerpts -

Diseases of Swine, 7th Edition
Iowa State University Press

In 1976, it was clearly demonstrated that Swine Influenza Virus (SIV) was transmitted from pigs to humans in the natural setting and caused acute respiratory disease in humans. Prior to that time, there was serological evidence that people, particularly those in close contact with pigs, were affected with SIV.

A major milestone in the chronology of zoonotic influenza came in January 1976 with the isolation of an influenza virus, A/NJ/8/76/(H1N1), closely related to swine influenza viruses, from sick military recruits at Fort Dix, NJ. (Goldfield et al. 1977; Kendal et al. 1977). There were many cases of acute respiratory disease, and serologic investigations revealed that several hundred recruits had been infected. Epidemiologic investigations could not identify infected or sick pigs that might have been the source of the virus for the outbreak.

There was speculation and concern that the virus would be the new epidemic strain of influenza for humans--perhaps a return of the virus that was responsible for the 1918 pandemic. There followed a national program to vaccinate humans against A/NJ/8/76(H1N1) virus; a surveillance program was also initiated to investigate pigs and their human contacts.

All speculation about the zoonotic nature of influenza came to an end in November 1976 when SIV (H1N1) was isolated from pigs and their caretaker on a farm in southern Wisconsin (Easterday et al. 1976; Hinshaw et al. 1978). In November 1976, pigs on a farm near Brodhead, Wis., had been sick 2 or 3 days when one of the caretakers also became ill and had moderate to severe signs of influenza requiring bed rest for 2 days. Nasal swabs from the pigs and throat washings from the man were collected on the same day. The virus was recovered from six of eight pigs sampled and from three throat washings collected from the young man over a period of approximately 18 hours. There was no evidence that the virus was spread from the caretaker to any of his family or other human contacts. The characterization of the viruses from the man and the pigs indicated they were identical (Palese and Ritchey 1977; Hinshaw et al. 1978).

Two weeks later an almost identical case occurred in a 14-year-old boy on another farm approximately 100 km away. In that case the virus was isolated from one of the five pigs and from one throat washing taken from the boy. Further testing indicated that the virus had spread from that boy to at least one and probably three of his close schoolmates.

Most recently, a swine H1N1 virus was recovered from a Wisconsin woman who died of primary viral pneumonia. She had attended a fair where sick pigs were present.

These documented cases of transmission of SIV resulting in acute respiratory disease in humans in contact with swine have been young people under 30 years of age. In the United States there is a plentiful source of virus in the pig populations, and there are thousands of contacts between humans and pigs every day. Such exposure constitutes an occupational hazard and a potential public health problem of undetermined magnitude and significance.

Feedstuffs Magazine
BSE will affect swine industry, expert says
By a Feedstuffs Staff Editor
October 8, 2001

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) will affect the swine industry even
though no naturally occurring variations of the disease have yet been found
in pigs, according to Dr. Will Hueston, speaking at the 27th annual Allen D.
Leman Swine Conference in Minneapolis, Minn.

"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. It is difficult to prove
that a species is not susceptible, and the remaining uncertainty,
international trade restrictions on meat products and consumers' food safety
concerns will have an impact on swine producers," said Hueston, director of
the Center for Animal Health & Food Safety at the University of Minnesota
College of Veterinary Medicine.

Even if swine do not show clinical symptoms, some scientists are concerned
that the BSE agent could be sequestered in pig tissue and pigs could be
silent carriers of the disease. He said experimental inoculation of pigs has
yielded mixed results. No transmission was documented from parental
challenge of pigs with kuru or scrapie, Hueston noted, but seven of 10 pigs
parenterally challenged with BSE developed clinical disease and
histopathology (the other three pigs died or were removed from the study
early in the incubation period). He said oral challenge of pigs with BSE
failed to achieve transmission, suggesting the disease is not transmitted to
swine under natural conditions.

Swine fed BSE-contaminated feedstuffs may also expose other species by
shedding the agent into the environment, according to Hueston, who served
for six years on the U.K. BSE Advisory Committee. He said there is no
evidence that suggests the pig's digestive tract can denature the BSE agent.

He indicated that BSE has already changed international trade on meat and
meat products and that more restrictions are likely as the disease spreads.
"Given international commodity trading, animal products often lose the
identity of their country of origin. With the three- to four-year latency
period of the disease, I expect that we will see BSE in 10-15 more countries
within the next few years," said Hueston. The likelihood of seeing BSE in
the U.S. is extremely low, he said, but it is more likely that someone in
the U.S. will develop variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) due to BSE
exposure in Great Britain.

"Consumer concerns will continue to rise as BSE is identified in other
countries around the world and more cases of vCJD are diagnosed. Because of
all the uncertainty regarding the disease and pigs and the continued media
attention, the swine industry will have a major risk communications
challenge and must be prepared," Hueston said.

Copyright 2001, The Miller Publishing Company, a company of Rural Press Ltd
The checchogs mailing list
Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2001 5:28 PM
Subject: [checchogs] Public Health Article 8, Duplin Co. Flies, Germ-Carrying Flies, Another Problem of Hog Operations North Carolina

Excerpts from North Carolina newspaper, Wallace Enterprise, 9-26-96.

Germ-Carrying Flies, Another Problem of Hog Operations

The hog industry's problems extend beyond that of odor control and drinking water safety-more to the point FLIES are chief carriers of germs.

The flies in this community of northern Duplin County are so thick they invade our houses whenever a door is opened. A cook out meal is out of the question. We are constantly fighting the fly population.

This was not so in the past thirty or more years (thanks to enforced health department methods and regulations). However, we have now been inundated with hog industries, hog excreta and hog waste products in our water supplies. Hog waste lagoons provide a breeding media for flies.

Manure has always been the fly haven for production of maggots and flies. Water, flies and insects carried through wind and air have always been known as the chief carrier of infectious disease and germs. One has only to read the history of past and fatal epidemics like tuberculosis, typhoid fever, influenza, colitis, encephalitis and other contagious diseases to be reminded of the danger of health problems resultant of the prevalence of flies.

We are now in a fly epidemic!! We have not had the magnitude of flies since the days of open back houses [sic] till now. This problem is further evidenced by recent water quality tests revealing appreciable levels of coliforms and nitrates.

Prior to the abundance of hog pens and hog waste run off in water supplies this was not evidenced at current levels. Yet, the hog lobbyists would have us believe it is from farm fertilizers.

...Driven by greed, the hog owners can attempt to justify why they choose to compromise the "quality of life" in our community and neighborhoods, our clean water sources, the environmental fate of our children and the eventual decline of real estate and private property values for long time farming families.

Who would want to live next to a smelly hog parlor? Obviously the politicians have a different agenda and it does not include community health and quality of life.

Louise Carter Bullock
R.N., B.S., M.A.Ed.
Public Health, Retired
Duplin County Resident

Note: Ms. Bullock is a former health nurse and public health specialist with appreciable experience in public health and disease prevention issues. In addition, Bullock is a former faculty member, East Carolina University, School of Nursing, Professor of Public Health.

 checchogs@listserv.unc.edu ;  U.S.Hog@worldnet.att.net
Cc:  checcalert@listserv.oit.unc.edu
Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2001 9:44 AM
Subject: Re: [checchogs] Human Health Article 7, Flies, COMPASSION FORTHE YOUNG, THE SENIOR CITIZENS, THE INNOCENT: Letter to theEditor, Alabama

The fly issue is often raised in connection with intensive livestock operations; in defending a turkey farmer against nuisance claims brought by neighbors in North Carolina, a nationally reknown entemologist was brought in; when the plaintiffs demanded that he explain a fly strip taken from one of their houses that was covered with "houseflies," the entemologist performed a scientific examination of those pests right there on the witness stand - unrehearsed and with no one knowing what the results would be. After his examination, his expert opinion was that the flies were not of the genus or species that would breed in animal manure or animal remains. This unexpected evidence and expert testimony, brought on by the plaintiffs themselves, played a key role in the outcome of the case - namely, dismissal of the case. I, of course, know nothing about the specifics here, but often times in the emotionally charged atmosphere of a perceived animal operation nuisance case, the plaintiffs and their counsel become so fixated on the odor and fly issues that they unwittingly heighten their own angst. Our level of perceived harm is often influenced by our own personal experiences; there I believe the most important factor is when neighbors feel powerless, but that feeling of "powerlessness" runs both ways; many good, hard working farmers also feel powerless to defend themselves against the highly organized attacks focused on them - airplanes flying over, so-called "riverkeepers' sneaking onto their property taking pictures and samples; unexplained acts of vandalism; etc. And on the other side, neighbors who have gone public with their concerns about livestock operations next door likewise report receiving telephone threats, being followed, etc. All of this may keep the lawyers busy, but it does little to resolve conflict and restore a sense to all that their concerns be adequately addressed. In the cases I have been involved in, mediation often helps. The opposing sides do not necessarily become friends, but it helps to let everyone have their say, try to perform VALID tests to document the facts, and then work out a compromise solution. Compromise, however, is ONLY possible when there is recognition and agreement on three critical points: (1) The neighbors have a right to be there; (2) the farm has a right to be there; and (3) one cannot expect any commercial activity to fully disprove all perceived environmental negatives - put another way, no one can 100% prove that something is 100% safe, or 100% without any measurable off-site effect. Instead, what CAN be done is to set reasonable OBJECTIVE standards, whether the issue be odor, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, nitrogen, phosphorous, or groundwater . . . nothing anyone does is devoid of environmental impacts - we ALL pollute. It does no good to label each other with extreme terms - and Lord knows bringing the "terrorist' label into play does no good right now . . . there is enough fear and terror in the world right now without our help. The discussion on checcalert about eco-terror raises legitimate issues, for such tactics can never lead to consensus; the key point is that we have to find some middle ground . . . How about these two points for disucssion? (1) the world has serious environmental problems, but it is not dead, nor on a respirator; and (2) "industry" as a generic term, has serious environmental impact issues to address, but in general is not a collection of evildoers (to quote a certain national leader).

Clark Wright

>>> "U.S.Hog" < U.S.Hog@worldnet.att.net> 11/13/01 07:40PM >>>
Human Health Article 7.

"Those pesky houseflies are more than just a nuisance."

"Jerry Butler, an entomologist at the University of Florida in Gainesville, said his research using genetic coding has found that common houseflies carry bacteria linked to meningitis and other pathogens that cause food poisoning."

"Houseflies have long been known to carry bacteria, and are a cause for half the cases of dysentery in Africa. The U.S. Agriculture Department says houseflies may spread diseases such as conjunctivitis, poliomyelitis, typhoid fever, tuberculosis, anthrax, leprosy, cholera, diarrhea and dysentery. They also serve as intermediate hosts for parasitic tapeworms on poultry or parasitic roundworms in animals."

"Houseflies have carried a lot of diseases to humans," said Lee Townshend of the University of Kentucky's extension service. "When they walk through food, there's a lot of bristles on their legs which makes it easy to mechanically transport any bacteria."

Link seen between houseflies, meningitis
Pests tied to several bacterial infections
Thursday, August 30, 2001
Philadelphia Daily News
Scripps Howard News Service

Please read the following Letter to the Editor.


November 11, 2001
Dear Editor,


In our community, human beings are being abused. We live around 8,000 finishing hogs.

My son's bedroom was covered with huge buzzing flies on the inside of his windows. According to a reporter, these are the flies you see when looking for a dead body.

A couple in our community had just returned from a trip, and went inside their home and found it had been invaded with these same pest. The elderly man is a retired WWII Vet and I will never forget the look on his face. He starred at the floor and although he fought in the War in his younger years. He was not able to fight the war of flies. His wife stood crying. This lady's physician in Georgia took one look at the flies and told her, "Those are flies that hatch from dead carcasses."

The people who created the problems for our community have family members who have complained about one neighbor having a few hogs and some complained a neighbor with a few hogs were too close to their church.

The few hogs didn't stop children from playing outside whenever they wanted. They didn't smell for two plus miles. They didn't leave a trail of pig poop up the road when they were hauled to market. They didn't cause neighbors property values to plummet. They didn't require tons and tons of hog waste to be spread on land over an entire community, Spring, Summer and Fall. With a few hogs, we don't remember Senior Citizens on the other end of a phone line crying, not knowing how to handle the STENCH and FLIES.

Yet we are expected to keep our mouth shut.

I am no match with ALFA controlled government agencies, so my Prayer is God have mercy on the innocent and bring justice to the guilty.

Brenda Ivey
XXXXX, Alabama
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Thanks for posting all the info. 04.Jan.2004 17:35

One thing

It becomes increasingly difficult to care about the human's "quality of life":

"...Driven by greed, the hog owners can attempt to justify why they choose to compromise the "quality of life" in our community and neighborhoods, our clean water sources, the environmental fate of our children and the eventual decline of real estate and private property values for long time farming families."

...when you know the terrible conditions that the pigs live under from birth until death on these farms. The people can move. The animals are stuck there until they're slaughtered in vicious ways. Decline of real estate? Like the pigs care. Watch the video at  http://www.meetyourmeat.com Most of the people in the community in question probably serve up pigs at their Easter dinner. Well, humans will have to learn that you can't just move the problem into someone else's neighborhood--eventually it must come home. I'm sure these people would like to just enclose it all and have it go somewhere else and continue their own greedy lifestyle. They don't think about the animals' suffering, they only think about their own.