Animal-rights groups release report on zoonotic disease

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The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) and Compassion in World Farming last week released a report titled “Zoonotic diseases, human health and animal welfare,” implicating intensive animal agriculture for outbreaks of human illness.

In 2012, the groups commissioned researchers to compile a series of reports examining the public health threat posed by some of the major zoonotic diseases and the effects of farming systems on this threat. The report summarizes their findings and provides policy recommendations from the two groups.

A news release from the WSPA leads with a statement that “The intensification of modern farming is an increasing hazard for human health.” The report cites incidents of foodborne illnesses from campylobacter, salmonella and E. coli, and zoonotic diseases such as bird flu and swine flu, concluding that concentrated production, animal transport and associated stress and disease exposure are to blame for outbreaks.

The authors offer the following recommendations

  • Ensure health – by developing farming policies for humane sustainable food supplies that ensure the health of animals and people. This includes using animal breeds, diets and management conditions that minimize stress and optimize animal welfare and immunity.
  • Surveillance and vaccination – helping minimize the spread of disease.
  • Limit transport – ensuring animals are slaughtered humanely on or near to the farm where they were raised.
  • Invest in research and knowledge transfer – helping support farmers to develop and implement higher welfare livestock systems.
  • Reduce non–therapeutic antibiotic use – limiting the risk of antibiotic resistance.
  • Encourage consumers to eat less and higher welfare meat – reducing the risk of exposure to food infected with Salmonella, Campylobacter or E. Coli.

Read the full report from the WSPA and Compassion in World Farming.

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shaun evertson    
nebraska  |  June, 03, 2013 at 09:55 AM

Cool! Cargo Cult Science at its best.

nebraska  |  June, 03, 2013 at 10:48 PM

Thanks for the link to the report. It's a case study in how to put a lot of truth into a few lies. Read one part of the stuff we all take seriously about ecoli, complete with a handful of referenced studies. Then the make a claim about how to raise beef right and the footnote is a published cookbook based upon an elitist restaurant selling storied beef. Looks good, has some truth and some serious fantasy.

June, 04, 2013 at 01:10 PM

Seems this lot read Alinsky well. Whist they have some goo dpoints, their "cure" is all out there. Transporting, per se, adds to the danger? Sure, maybe.... but why don't they advocate for undoing the many laws that mitigate AGAINST the small hope operator that COULD produce more of the "storied beef" they rave over? The current laws are all in the pockets of the large producers and add in incredible burthen, if not stop altogether, small local production and sale... that latter being the key. I know people who would LOVE to raise and supply quality meats to restaurants and local markets, but can't... USDA regs won't let that food be sold, only used at home by the grower. Sure, a family can raise for themselves, but why not sell to the neighbours, or a local quality restaurant as well? THIS is the problem, if there is one.. the laws all are in the homecourt of the large producers.

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