Warning over H1N1 risk of big pig farms

26th September 2009, Comments 0 comments

Supersize pigsties may be a source of H1N1 flu, four Dutch village doctors in Limburg province say. They are protesting against the planned building of gigantic pig and chicken rearing facilities in their area.

The Netherlands - Supersize pigsties may be a source of H1N1 flu, four Dutch village doctors in Limburg province say. They are protesting against the planned building of gigantic pig and chicken rearing facilities in their area.

As the worried doctors wrote in a letter to the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, there is a bicycle lane crossing the area, which is used daily by children on their way to school.

The doctors point out that the spread of the so-called Mexican flu virus is increased when great numbers of pigs and chickens are packed closely together. It is not clear which infection mechanism they are referring to, since AH1N1 does not originate in pigs. This even led the UN to reject the designation of "swine flu".

Local authorities have committed themselves to investigating the health risks of the building plans. "If there's any danger at all, the erection of these so-called mega stables will be stopped," a townhall spokesperson in the village of Horst said.

Radio Netherlands/Expatica

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