Chinese food standards risk yet more deadly new pandemic – hotbed of new viruses exposed | World | News

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Kate Blaszak, global director of research and animal welfare for breeding, described the growth of intensive breeding units not only in China but around the world and stressed that they can both increase the resistance to antibiotics and create a pathogen more deadly than COVID-19. . Speaking to Express.co.uk, Blaszak said: “China is incubating two new strains of avian flu. She is also facing an epidemic of swine flu, which is a mixture of human, swine and bird flu viruses.

“These different viruses have mixed together to form a very powerful pathogen.“The current swine flu virus that has broken out in China has the potential to bind very successfully in the throat and respiratory system. ”

The veterinarian scientist said that over the past ten to 15 years, China has experienced a large and rapid change in traditional farming practices and is now mimicking the American model of high-intensity farming where animals are kept in dark environments. and confined.

Ms Blaszak described the new factory farming system in China as lacking regulation and operating with very poor animal welfare principles.

The hundreds of millions of animals contained in new factory systems are under so much stress that their weakened immune systems make them constantly need antibiotics to stay healthy and alive.

Ms Blaszak said, “These types of low-welfare environments reduce animal immunity and allow viruses to spread.

“They create the perfect scenario for the mixing of viruses and the mutation and amplification of viruses. ”

She added farm waste, the movement of large quantities of animals and the treatment of animals are also a risk to humans.

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Animals that are genetically uniform and crowded side by side need annual inoculations to protect them from the ravages of rapidly mutating viruses.

Developing vaccines for new viruses in the pipeline is time-consuming and expensive, and when a vaccine is released, it doesn’t take long before it is changed due to the rapid mutation of these influenza viruses.

In addition, since 75 percent of antibiotics are used in the breeding of farm animals, there is an additional risk of creating extremely resistant bacteria.

Most of these antibiotics are used to promote growth rather than to cure disease.

Ms Blaszak said: “Without huge amounts of antibiotics, a lot of animals would be sick and die and these intensified farming systems would not work.

“So the antibiotics just make the system stronger for the next pandemic. ”

However, Ms Blaszak said, “To be fair, China is banning the use of antibiotics in feed and water at the end of 2020.”

Since 2018, African swine flu, which originated from factory farms in Mexico, has wiped out the vast majority of small-scale pig farmers in China.

This then accelerated the intensity of agricultural practices in China.

Ms Blaszak said the need to improve the level of animal welfare and move away from a factory farming system, “so that we can reduce the pressure on meat production by reducing meat consumption. ”

She added: “We have to do it, otherwise this pandemic will not be the last. ”

Since 2016, China has put in place important policies to move away from declared meat consumption and improve food sustainability in the country.

Blaszak added that the whole world should rethink its meat consumption.

She said: “The world should move away from intensive livestock systems and improve animal welfare standards.

“There should be a reduction in meat consumption. “



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