Gene Expression

Egypt going to kill its pigs?

UN says Egypt pig cull real mistake:

The United Nations has called Egypt’s move to cull 400,000 pigs as a precaution against swine flu “a real mistake”.

The Egyptian government ordered the slaughter of the pigs on Wednesday, saying it could help quell any panic in the country that is largely Muslim, who view pigs as unclean.

No pigs in the country have been found with the new strain of H1N1 virus of the so-called swine flu and the World Health Organisation (WHO) says the disease cannot be caught from eating pork that is properly prepared.

I just heard on NPR that urban pigs apparently process a great of the organic trash for the city of Cairo. This overreaction might have some public health ramifications down the road.


  1. #1 Ray
    April 30, 2009

    The pig cull is nothing more than a political/religious move. The pigs have never been popular with the Muslim majority and this is a perfect opportunity to get rid of them.

    Never waste a crisis – sound familiar?

  2. #2 Jennifurret
    April 30, 2009

    I talked about why this was stupid for economic and religious reasons earlier, but I didn’t even think of the public health effects. Sigh. Yay overreacting!

  3. #3 Sigmund
    April 30, 2009

    I’ve read some reports that pigs tend to be kept in particular villages that, like those regions of the western world that have intensive pig farming, stink to high heaven. It’s probably a popular move to get rid of these nostril-sores.

  4. #4 Joshua Zelinsky
    April 30, 2009

    And I thought the response of the Israeli health minister to rename the flu so it didn’t mention pigs was silly ( ). Thank you, Egypt for going 4 steps further.

  5. #5 John Emerson
    April 30, 2009

    Presumably the pig-farmers are Copts or other Christians.

  6. #6 coldequation
    April 30, 2009

    I wonder if that means the extinction of any significant pig breeds.

  7. #7 diana
    May 1, 2009

    They do stink to high heaven but no one other than Copts goes near them. This is just a primitive overreaction. The pigs will not infect anyone.

    Regarding the name of the flu, the fact is that flu viruses are traditionally named after place of origin, or presumed place of origin. (The 1918 pandemic wasn’t from Spain but we still call it Spanish flu.)

    Why should this be different?

  8. #8 Gamal
    May 1, 2009

    It is a big mistake to do that. Actually the pigs in Egypt are to a big extent protecting Egypt from a lot of “trash and dirt” that would add to the already existing mess Egyptian government is putting Egyptian people into! Egyptian president is so weak and lazy to think or ask for proper and human precautions…he is only licking Egyptian simple people asses! Killing pigs in Egypt if done, should include killing lot of the pig people ruling the country as well!!!

  9. #9 diana
    May 1, 2009

    The new proper name for the flu is Influenza A, bitches.

    The insanity has spread to Iraq (well, I guess the place was insane to begin with). They will kill wild boars in the zoo:

    Sick joke.

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