Posted on May 1, 2009 - by

Swine Flu & Industrial Hog Confinement Operations

Pigs pigs pigs . . .  and more pigs.  Joel Salatin (Polyface Farms), in an email about the swine flu outbreak, wrote “I guess you saw where Smithfield has a 950,000 confinement hog operation in the locality at the epicenter of the outbreak.  Strange coincidence.”  Reminded me what Russ Kremer said… “When you concentrate a lot of biological organisms, whether it be rats, kids or pigs, you’re going to have problems…” (video here)

But the media is not even discussing any potential link . . . so check this “alternative” article by William Engdahl:
Flying Pigs, Tamiflu, and Factory Farms

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3 Comments

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  1. Mike said:

    H1N1 (swine) influenza virus very unlikely originated from anything having to do with large groups of animals. Although keeping animals in close confines no doubt increases the transmission of the virus among those animals, the H1N1 flu is composed of avian, swine, and human components. The “hog operation” that you speak of would have had to become infected with a virus from an outside source. A virus that already had avian and human components, or several different viruses that used the pigs as mixing vessels for their RNA genome.

    Interesting Fact:
    Traditionally, influenza virus is considered to be rampant in migrating bird populations. Many epidemiologists consider these birds to be the natural mode of transportation of the influenza virus throughout the world. Many, many years ago, when pig farmers would keep their stocks outdoors, these migrating birds would land in their fields. They would defecate on the fields, passing new strains of influenza virus with their stool. The pigs would roam over the same infected fields, or even eat the avian droppings, and thus mutated viruses that could also infect pigs were rapidly selected for. In modern times, one of the principle reasons why swine operations are now housed indoors, is to prevent the spread of influenza from migrating birds (in addition to costs, space, etc).

  2. ana said:

    The question is, would the disease have spread so widely if it wasn’t for such a large confinement providing the perfect breeding place for it?



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    Kathryn said:

    Another important point to consider is how keeping animals in confinement contributes to lowering their immune system making them more susceptible to contamination. When animals are eating foods unnatural to them and aren’t able to live in their natural environment, their immune systems become weakened. Add to that the excessive antibiotic use and you’ve got a perfect breeding ground. The same point can be made for how a pandemic would affect the human population as people have drastically reduced immune system function within the last 150 years.