In recent decades many virus outbreaks have arisen among farm animals such as Foot-and-Mouth disease, Mad Cow disease, Q Fever, African Swine Fever, Pig Flue, Avian Influenza, etc. Because we keep so many farm animals together, in close quarters and often under stressful and intensive conditions, diseases often arise among them. In many cases, these disease jump even to people and can make people very sick and even kill them. Transporting these animals around the world also causes these diseases to spread. Previously animals were brought to the next village to be slaughtered or fattened, nowadays they are often transported hundreds and even thousands of kilometers. Some examples of common routes are cattle from The Netherlands and Germany to Russia, sheep and cattle from Australia to Lebanon, cattle from Brazil to Turkey, horses from northern USA to Mexico, pigs from Canada to California…
We humans do not try to prevent these diseases from developing and spreading by giving the animals a better quality of life or by limiting international transport of live animals. We humans instead clean up the mess after it has happened, by mass killing the animals once there is a disease outbreak among them.
See the links below about how and why these outbreaks occur and what we can do about them.
- National Geographic: To prevent the next pandemic, it’s the legal wildlife trade we should worry about
- Phys.org: Human interactions with wild and farmed animals must change dramatically to reduce risk of another deadly pandemic
- The New York Times: How Humanity Unleashed a Flood of New Diseases
- World Animal News: As The Global Pandemic Exposes Dangers In The Meatpacking Industry
- Independent Newspaper : Industrial animal farming has caused most new infectious diseases and risks more pandemics
- BBC: articles about previous virus outbreaks among farmed animals