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The world is still struggling to reach normality since the advent of the coronavirus pandemic in December 2019. Since then, the global pandemic has caused 388,060 deaths, a total of 6,575,177 cases.
According to recent reports on an apocalyptic virus and a statement from Dr Michael Greger, the author of the best-selling book 'How Not To Die', claims that chickens could be the cause of the next deadly pandemic .
Chickens Could Be Cause Of The Next Deadly Pandemic
Dr Michael Greger pointed out that while COVID-19 may have shaken the economic and social balance of the globe as a whole, a new strain of virus from chicken farms could lead to a more dangerous pandemic than COVID-19. Not only that, but the scientist also adds that the virus could have the potential to wipe out half of the world's population.
The discussion on the possible new virus was discussed in Dr Greger's new book, ‘How To Survive A Pandemic,' where he warns that ‘as long as there is poultry, there will be pandemics.'
The scientist pointed out the following reasons suggesting the outbreak of a new pandemic :
- Humans' close connection to animals could lead to the worst kind of epidemic.
- Several other diseases such as COVID-19, Swine flu etc. have been contracted from animals.
- The H5NI bird flu that emerged in China in 1997 happened again in 2003 and 2009 outside of China, suggesting that the virus was not fully eliminated and possibilities of an outbreak are high .
- Poultry farms were chickens are mass-farmed are a breeding ground for diseases as the chicken are made to live in extremely tight spaces and the high ammonia level from their droppings stay in the cages than being cleaned .
- Mass production, use of human antivirals and lack of hygiene are, undoubtedly, causes for concern .
Mass Production Must Be Stopped And A Switch To Plant-based Diet Is Ideal
While suggesting the probable outbreak that could lead to the demise of almost half of the world's population, Dr Greger suggests that:
- there is an urgent need to shift from the mass production of chickens to smaller flocks that are raised in less crowded spaces with outdoor access,
- unnatural egg production and the practice of breeding also needs to end,
- there is a need to ‘break' the viral link between chickens and humans,
- avoid the use of human antivirals (the use of antiviral drugs in poultry is blamed for drug-resistant strains of avian flu) , and
- there is a need to follow better hygiene measures.
The scientist concluded by suggesting that although cautionary measures may help to an extent, it may not be enough to prevent the outbreak of a new pandemic.
"The more animals are jammed together, the more spins the virus may get at the roulette wheel while gambling for the pandemic jackpot that may be hidden in the lining of the chickens' lungs" .
He stressed on the importance of adopting a vegetarian or a plant-based lifestyle which avoids the consumption of meat and dairy, suggesting that not only does it reduce the risk of deadly pandemics, but are naturally good for one's overall health .
Several Studies Have Linked Poultry Farming To Outbreak Of Diseases
Poultry farming coming into the question of being a pandemic trigger is not a new one. Various studies have linked poultry farming to several diseases.
One study, which focused on the poultry farms in Indonesia found that the bacterial and viral diseases that infect broiler chicken in the farms are Chronic Respiratory Diseases (CRD) and Colibacillosis, and Infectious Bursal Diseases (IBD/Gumboro) and Newcastle Disease (ND) . Other diseases that found in low prevalence level are Snot and Ascites and suggested that there is a need to implement effects to control viral diseases.
Another study pointed out that while poultry production has been an integral part of small farms for centuries, it is essential to achieve food security and safety, so as to avoid the emergence of infectious diseases .
On A Final Note…
In conclusion, the best solution for preventing the outbreak of yet another pandemic is to stop the mass production of chickens and raise smaller flocks in less crowded spaces with outdoor access and better hygiene.