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Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Industry farms could be the origin of the next pandemic

You might want to keep your mask on the next time you're in a ‘ezba, as it seems likely that the next pandemic could come from industrial farms, according to Vox (watch, runtime: 09:15). Industrial farms or “concentrated animal feeding operations” (CAFOs, in industry terms) have become a model for efficient and high profitability farming across the globe — and a watchword for despicable conditions for animals that even obligate carnivores deplore. CAFOs have proved to house the ideal environment for the pathogens that cause pandemics. The petri dish farms are overly crowded with one virus easily jumping from one animal host to the other, with scientists worried that a mutation could occur that would give the pathogen the ability to transmit to humans. Their apprehension didn’t appear out of thin air, with the recent outbreak of H1N1 or Swine Flu having emerged from CAFOs in Mexico.

There are ways to lower the risk of CAFO-born pathogens, with scientists suggesting countries decrease the global transport of live animals, have less crowded farms, eat less meat, or transition back to the traditional (and vastly more humane) farming practices that were prominent before the industrial revolution .

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