Posted in Life

The Sky is Falling

Pack them in, clip their beak, force them to breathe their own crap and eat and drink in an extremely small area.  Then, just in case, pump them full of antibiotics and hope they don’t get sick.  Accelerate their growth to the point they can barely walk; but that’s ok, since they don’t have much room to move, yet walk. I am not a chicken or animal rights person, but it just doesn’t make sense, neither in an economic nor in as far as the quality of a human-beings health concerned.

In 1924, 1983 and 2004, there were only three Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza outbreaks in commercial poultry in U.S. history.  In the 1983-84 H5N2 HPAI bird outbreaks resulted in the destruction of approximately 17 million chickens, turkeys, and guinea fowl in the northeastern United States to contain and eradicate the disease.

HPAI H5 detections began in December 2014 and continued into mid-June 2015. During that time H5 bird flu virus detections were reported in 21 U.S. states (15 states with outbreaks in domestic poultry or captive birds and 6 states with H5 detections in wild birds only).

2016, in 16 states, mostly in Minnesota, millions of chickens were infected and flocks are killed with a suffocating foam. The carcasses usually are composted in the barns where the birds had been living.  Months later that same farm will be back in operations on or near the buried infected chickens.  I’m not sure of the safety that provides.

Ø  United State, January 15th Indiana 43,000 found to have the H7N8 virus

Ø  United States, Iowa early 2015, a flock of approximately 3,000,000 egg-laying chickens in northeastern Iowa

Ø  United States, March 6th, 2017 Tennessee farm of Tyson Foods detects a strain of the bird flu and over 74,000 chickens will be killed in an attempt to eradicate the disease.

Ø  Asia and Europe, recently different strains of bird flu have been confirmed. Authorities have killed millions of birds in affected areas to control the outbreaks.

Ø  France, reported outbreaks of the highly contagious H5N8 bird flu virus.

Ø  South Korea, 2016 over 22,000,000 chickens were killed due to a rapid spread of the worst outbreak in history of H5N6 strain.

Ø  China, January 2017 approximately 79 people died from H7N9 bird flu

Ø  China, Since 2007, more than a 1,000 dogs in the U.S. have died after eating Chinese-made pet food containing poultry

Chicken Exports by Country: Fresh

Of the top 15 countries that export fresh or chilled chicken during 2015 by dollars and percent:

  1. Netherlands: US$1 billion (20% of total fresh poultry exports)
  2. United States: $761.6 million (14.6%)
  3. Poland: $631.6 million (12.1%)
  4. Belgium: $614.6 million (11.8%)
  5. Germany: $473.1 million (9.1%)
  6. China: $187.9 million (3.6%)

Chicken Exports by Country: Frozen

Of the 15 countries that exported frozen chicken during 2015 by dollars and percent:

  1. Brazil: US$6.2 billion (41.1% of total frozen poultry exports)
  2. United States: $2.3 billion (14.8%)
  3. Netherlands: $1.1 billion (7%)
  4. Hong Kong: $759.2 million (5%)
  5. Poland: $501.1 million (3.3%)
  6. France: $487.8 million (3.2%)

–          China #10 at $272.1 million (1.8%)

How! How can it make economic sense to import chicken from any other country when we export nearly $3 billion dollars’ worth annually? Please beware what you buy and where it’s from.  Read the label, ask the man or woman behind fresh meat counter at your local grocer.  You will be surprised.

The CDC will tell you that the likelihood of the spread of the H5 virus to humans is low and has been extremely low without spreading.  The World Health Organization (WHO) states that the Influenza viruses circulating in animals pose threats to human health. Humans can become ill when infected with viruses from animal sources, such as avian influenza virus subtypes H5N1 and H9N2 and swine influenza virus subtypes H1N1 and H3N2. The primary risk factor for human infection appears to be direct or indirect exposure to infected live or dead animals or contaminated environments.

How it is dealt with:

  • Quarantine – restricting movement of poultry & poultry-moving equipment in & out of the control area
  • Eradicate – humanely euthanizing the affected flock/s
  • Monitor region – testing wild & domestic birds in a broad area around the quarantine area
  • Disinfect – kills the virus in the affected flock locations
  • Test – confirming that the poultry farm is AI virus-free
  • Repeat

If we have enough land to produce enough to feed 80% of the crops to our animals we mass produce. We also send billions of dollars of that same crop and animal product to other countries.  All the while other countries with less regulation are doing the same thing and importing it into our country.   If we would only use the land more wisely, to ensure our own health, the economy, our health, our communities and families will be greater.  And in turn, our country would follow.  Thank you.

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Author:

Raised on a 20 acre farm with all the animals in rural Indiana. Picked up rocks out of farm field before planting season, cooked in a pancake house for a couple years, worked in a factory, joined the Navy, back to the factory then College. It went by so fast.

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