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Bird Flu or Inhumane Farming. Animals in Farms are at a Higher Risk of Diseases

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World Animal Protection has received appalling reports that large numbers of poultry animals have been culled and more are being planned to avoid the risk of Bird Flu spread.

A large numbers of poultry animals have been culled to avoid the risk of Bird Flu. Photo credit – World Animal Protection (Taken for reference from Deposit Photos)

World Animal Protection is aware that huge number of chickens are being culled without following OIE recommended guidelines. We strongly condemn inhumane methods of culling of chickens for disease control purposes. With Bird flu spreading around the country, all available resources must be put into ensuring that affected animals are treated humanely.

A large numbers of poultry animals have been culled to avoid the risk of Bird Flu. Bird Flu Outbreak. Photo credit – World Animal Protection (Taken for reference from Deposit Photos)

Animal Welfare is the fundamental pillar of disease prevention

Animals in farms are at high risk of diseases. Wherever they are squashed together and stressed, the diseases spread readily. Experts agree that animal welfare is the fundamental pillar of disease prevention. Chickens and other farm animals are not cogs in a machine. They are living, breathing beings who feel pain, suffering and joy. There is no excuse for cruelty on farms or during slaughter. Chickens must be well handled and effectively stunned to kill them (electrocution) with trained use of regulated devices. Injections or other methods that paralyse but don’t make chickens unconscious or painlessly kill them, are not humane. Once confirmed dead, animals must be disposed of responsibly, as dumping in grounds, rivers, or elsewhere spreads disease further.

Inhumane farming is causing animal suffering

Inhumane farming is the world’s biggest cause of animal suffering, and it’s getting worse. Right now, more than 70 billion animals are farmed for food each year, most of them live in conditions that mean they can’t live good lives. Such farms are closely linked to other critical concerns, including zoonotic disease outbreaks, water pollution, overuse of antibiotics, and antimicrobial resistance development.

While high animal density within farms is a risk factor for the amplification of disease, the geographic concentration of farms in the same region is a risk for disease spread. Intensive production is often associated with large numbers of animals on a relatively small area of land.

Live Animal Markets are responsible for virus transmission

Live animal markets are hubs in which animals from different sources are put into direct and indirect contact. Emerging and re-emerging pathogens are most likely to have the broadest host ranges, and the diversity of closely held animals in live markets facilitates cross-species virus transmission. When animals are gathered tightly together, under high stress, the viral load is amplified. Millions of live birds are brought to markets in Asian urban centres and slaughtered every day. Infected birds may be sold and slaughtered before showing disease signs or dying of infection.

“World Animal Protection is deeply concerned about the culling of chickens and other poultry birds across the country. World Animal Protection urges the government and food industry to provide sustainable and humane consumer options by transitioning to proven humane and sustainable farming models. These systems afford farm animals good lives and, in conjunction with the increased consumption of plant-based proteins, can safeguard the planet and its inhabitants,” said Gajender K Sharma, Country Director, World Animal Protection India.

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