Wednesday, January 28


As zoonotic diseases continue to rage across the ocean, the obvious problem and known cause - intensive animal agriculture - continues to be ignored while the preferred solution is killing and more killing. But some are suggesting this may do more harm than good. The Washington Post reports that health and agriculture officials are warning that the mass slaughter of chickens could inadvertently help turn the virus into a form far more threatening to humans. U.N. officials "say the contact between poultry and the people killing them poses a risk by creating more chances for avian influenza to hijack genes from ordinary human flu." Meanwhile, in the International Herald Tribune, Steven E. Sanderson says Killing civet cats is not the way to fight SARS: "Killing the messenger - literally - is not going to eliminate the need for a real health care plan for all the inhabitants of this planet. The time has long passed when we can ignore the connection between human health and wildlife health."

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